Portraiture is the identification of a particular person. A person’s visual identity encompasses, among other things, his or her eyes, nose, mouth, age, race, posture, and dress. We assess the person based on these visual cues: What is his or her expression? Does the person wear glasses? How does the person style his or her hair?
In this series, omissions, I explore the visual identity of a person when the information that we rely on most—a subject’s facial features—are missing. These works challenged my approach to figure drawing because I could not rely on the normal elements of the person when determining form, scale, and color range. In addition, removing the subject’s facial features curtailed my natural desire to address the figure as a whole and forced me to address the other more subtle details of the subject’s representation.
With significant portions of the subject absent from a portrait, the viewer must assess other aspects of the person that may not otherwise be considered. The viewer’s emotional and logical response to portraiture is necessarily altered as he or she judges the visual information presented and that which is ostensibly missing.
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