John Flemming, New Orleans' renowned leather mask maker, concentrates on the art of transformation. His subject is the mask, that ancient form that both disguises and reveals. Flemming creates intricately crafted masks in leather that stand independent as sculptures and, when worn, encompass the wearer in an evocative atmosphere.
Flemming's masks are an outgrowth of 30 years of work in the medium of leather. Observing that nearly everything made with this material either contained, or bound items, he decided to liberate the medium from these preconceptions. Inspired by the life forms in nature, as well as the rapidly changing shapes of elements of wind, water, and fire, not usually associated with the medium of leather, Flemming has created a series of masks, which exhibit a combination of the organic and fantastic. Each mask has a dynamic quality which seems to dance and exude a personality or mood of its own.