The second of four Magician family portraits, this painting is 20 x 16 inches. The media are watercolor, ink, and colored pencils on watercolor paper.
Mystery is the second child and only daughter of Mr. and Magician. Mystery began wearing masks of her own creation when she was eight-years-old and her beauty began to blind and deafen the senses of others, which beauty became exponentially more blinding and deafening with the onset of puberty at age eleven. Mystery was furious and sad and deeply distressed that her visage, notably her face, blinded and deafened people, because once blinded and deafened they could not in any meaningful way see or hear her, which inability precluded their getting to know her and she them. And so, with the help of her older brother Merlin, she made a series of experiments which proved conclusively that most people can, within a relatively short period of time, simply be themselves around a person wearing a mask, whereas these same people seem never to be able to be themselves in the presence of blinding and deafening beauty. Thus only Mystery’s siblings and parents and a few special friends ever see Mystery unmasked, and even these select few are to some extent blinded and deafened by her beauty, which at the age of thirty is tantamount to unbelievable.
In the early days of experimenting with wearing masks, Mystery tried a variety of mask structures that covered some or most of her face, but it seemed that even the subtlest glimpse of a portion of her true appearance blinded and deafened people, and so she eventually settled on Paper Mache helmet masks that cover her entire head and are two times the size of her actual head. Her newest Paper Mache head is three times the size of her actual head and appears to be the head of a gigantic fantastically colorful hideous carnivorous plant sitting atop the body of a tall shapely female human. Mrs. Magician refers to the mask in this painting as Mystery’s Carmen Miranda visage. A born leader, Mystery owns a large apartment building in a dangerous part of a lawless metropolis. She rents most of her apartments to artists, healers, social misfits, and single-parent families willing to participate in Mystery’s large-scale experiments in collective living. Merlin, the eldest Magician child, occupies the massive basement of Mystery’s building.