Artist Dmitriy Bragin creates mystifying masks inspired by steampunk. The incredible coverings cloak the entire face in metallic-looking finishings. Bragin plays with texture and machine elements—such as tiny gears—as well as organic root-like motifs and combines them into one form. When worn, the wearer seemingly transforms from a human to a hybrid of man and machine.
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that takes its cues from 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Although some point out that Bragin’s masks aren’t truly steampunk because they contain no moving parts, he certainly captures the spirit of the aesthetic.
The masks, replete with their incredible details, are the results of Bragin’s vision and creative thinking. To begin a piece, he uses a flimsy plastic mask that’s easy to cut and reshape as his base. Then, he adds the decorative elements to it; a camera lens he bought at a secondhand sale, for instance, will inspire an entire design. Sometimes, the elements will be from things you’d never expect—like the motorcycle from a children’s toy.
Although Bragin’s work looks like it’s cast from bronze or other metal, it’s an illusion. It’s the work of acrylic paint that's layered and brushed to add the illusion of weight and age to them. This material of choice actually makes the masks much lighter and easy to wear, allowing the wearer to slip into a retro-futuristic character anytime that they please.
If you're interested in transforming into a steampunk cyborg, Bragin sells his masks and other steampunk-inspired pieces in his Etsy shop.