40 Years of Masks in Music

40 Years of Masks in Music



Joe Shervell an infographic designer based in London, has created a neat graphic that documents slickly the evolution of masks and their use in popular music over 40 years.

From Bowie to Bjork and most things in between the graphic illustrates how the mask has both reflected artistically the work of various acts and their use of the mask to create a distinctive image and statement.

Spanning every genre from glam and electro pop to hip hop and metal, The Residents, Splipknot and Marilyn Manson to Wu-Tang Klang and the Pet Shop Boys. Masks have been used to conceal identities and create a striking new personas, Bowie’s Alladin Sane flash in particular has oft been copied since the Dane first sported it in 1979.

This year Daft Punk have sported giant futuristic helmets that have added to the allure of professors at work wanting to remain faceless to the public. Sometimes a mask can make the ordinary artistic image something special The Knife, Korn and Eminem have reclaimed previously aggressive images as their own. Bjork has constantly used new head attire to compliment her ever evolving style that reflects the shifts in her musical pallette. While Russian Punks elevated the colourful balaclava to the levels of feminist protest of an repressive Russian regime. The late Northern humourous subvertist Frank Sidebottom and his paper mache head and Super Furry Animals use of furry monster imagery are two notable omissions. I’m sure this year will throw up more masks in music.

Here’s what Joe says about the piece:
“I wanted to make something visually striking which also tells a bit of a story about the history of music. It covers every genre from death metal to horrorcore and everything in between. I have quite an eclectic taste and a love of all good music, so hopefully that comes across in the graphic.”

40 Years of Iconic Music Masks

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


Infographic commissioned by www.justposhmasks.com

What’s your favourite music mask?

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.