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Brazil artist paints masks for those who want to show their face

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Jorge Roriz, 65, used to create the magical world of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival with its colorful costumes and fantastic floats.

Now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, he is using his art to make masks that don’t attempt to disguise or accentuate but to be as real as possible.

Roriz paints face masks that are so accurate as to be uncanny. As he speaks wearing his mask, his mouth, like that of a ventriloquist, does not appear to move.

“I use this mask in order not to lose my identity,” Roriz said.

He paints the person’s lower face on to a white mask, taking time over the details like skin hue and lips.

The masks have become popular with people who don’t want to hide their face during the pandemic but are keen to protect themselves against the virus.

“It’s vital that people look after themselves, it’s good that people use masks,” he said.

“I’ve had a really positive reaction, people laugh. Something that was meant to be sad became something that brings joy.”

Reporting by Sebastian Rocandio, writing by Stephen Eisenhammer, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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