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The Man Behind the (Freakily, Disturbingly Realistic) Mask

Need a change of face? Put on one of Landon Meier’s masks, and you can be anyone from Stephen Colbert to Kim Jong Un. You’ll turn heads everywhere you go because these aren’t your run-of-the-mill Halloween masks—they’re hyper-realistic masterpieces. That said, the uncanny level of detail can be a little off-putting. And, that’s not a dig at Meier’s work. The artist is well aware of how weird it is to see a head on a body that it doesn’t belong on—and, boy does he love to freak people out.

Meier’s mask making career took off with baby masks that look exactly like real baby faces—just way, way bigger to fit adult heads. Brilliantly capturing the most common baby facial expressions, Meier’s baby masks include a disgusted baby, a happy baby and, of course, a cry baby (if you’re going to do a baby line, you’ve got to have a cry baby, right?)

Aside overgrown infants, Meier is a master of capturing famous faces and has skillfully crafted likenesses of Mike Tyson, Peter Dinklage, Stephen Colbert and the fictional character Walter White from “Breaking Bad.” Bryan Cranston, the actor who played the teacher-turned-meth-cooker, even walked around San Diego Comic-Con wearing Meier’s Walter White mask a few years ago. Cranston wasn’t swarmed by fans because no one quite recognized the actor until he took the stage to appear on a panel and whipped off his clever disguise.

Meier uses the latest face-mapping computer technology, a 3D printer and old school mold making to create his masks. Working mostly in his basement, though he will venture upstairs to the main floor of his house when he needs more light, the artist obsesses over every single hair, every single freckle, every single detail of his creations—and the attention to detail shows.

Over the years, Meier has made more than 1,000 masks—in about two-dozen designs—with his own hands, and they’re all works of art. Describing his masks as "ungodly expensive," Meier says the cheapest start at $500, while the most expensive can cost as much as $7,500.

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