FACES is part of my project “Creating My World“
My recent inspiration and preoccupation has to do with two topics:
a) The great changes taking place within societies, and in particular the increasingly huge gap between rich and poor
b) The part of modern societies that interchanges with other places, cultures and languages
I think that I belong to this last part. I sense – over the last years in all 4 great continents - growing anti-globalization tendencies. Looking with the eye of an artist, I would think that these tendencies occur in a conscientious, pro-active way and are characterized by diversity and the willful display of colors.
It is an occurrence which fits with my longing for a world marked by differences and diversity, a world of colorful people of all races, of personalized characters and individualists, of free and authentic people! These people accept neither uniforms nor fashion dictates; they will not surrender to the pressure of mass media and multinationals which come with huge flower shears to cut the blossoms in the exotic garden - my garden of life.
My cry echoes through the garden: Diversity from start to finish!
But in spite of all diversity, a new type of humanity binds my peoples together. Even if they are still partly dream or fiction, the tendencies are visible, are real and have to be unveiled in art.
However, in this changing environment naturally there are powers very eager to re-establish control over everything. The easiest way of doing this appears to be through standardization: the fashion goddess descends from heaven; the media spreads the message to follow the same taste or fashion, suggesting it would be the only practical, feasible and sustainable way and thus the only viable option for today.
The forces insisting upon fashion, uniformity and standardization will not only try to impress us with equivalent copies of objects, their obsessive measure of progress, but also of ideas and even to impose their own (much the same) taste.
I have seen people, also artists, become insecure under this pressure and inclined to bow to the aura of globalization, especially those living in developing countries which we tend automatically to consider poor, particularly in the Southern hemisphere. In some places I could see this spinning thread of “power” surround the tendency for individualism, freedom, color and personal authenticity in an attempt to crush it. I have noted this power strangling some of the flowers in the garden.
Amongst all the differences in a world made up of labyrinths, enigma, set-ups and pop-ups, it occurs to me that in the challenge of otherness it is the people who bear the lion’s share, proactively and passively. People will accept or reject the OTHER option. Looking at people, however, the face is the unique algorithm of an individual, just as the eyes are the mirror of its hidden centre. Does a face speak to you, is it clear or blurred? Or is it covered by a veil?
Faces appear from every corner, suggestive lines or patches of color indicating the face behind the veil. Veils are common almost all over the world, in most of the male-dominated cultures. It is an enigma-ridden world, both tangible and intended. And at times veils cover entire bodies.
Bodies are sculpted by food and scalpel or involuntarily by disease, by age, training or stylists, by tradition, fashion and flipped- out imagination. And so are faces! Perhaps the body will very much support the face, but the face remains the person’s identity mark, its uniqueness in a nutshell.
No set-up photograph, no cleverly installed lights, no expensive cover from the cosmetics industry casts its shadow into the future. Layer by layer unique shapes of the reality behind bars push through to the surface. It is the artist’s eye that is able to dismantle veils, bars or other barriers.
In my project, art will re-create the face. The artist will whisper into the ear of his models, “Expose your intentions!” and follow the path. I work with the faces of familiar people, of models or unremarkable individuals who trustingly enter my studio. They know that I will intervene artistically, to uncover the person behind the personality.
In this interaction with the artist’s sensitivity, the hidden image of the face will start to speak out, will enjoy free flowing freedom and will turn into its authentic image by “Creating My World”.