Part 8 Don’t Look at Me! (Section I)
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This is my continuing study of art that distorts, smears, or obscures the faces of its subjects. I am trying to get my head around this art – in all its forms. It seems to me to be almost an art movement – there are hundreds of artists that do this type of work exclusively. They are men and women from around the world. They are educated, self taught, professional, and hobbyist. They work in all different genres from photography to sculpture. I think ultimately my goal is to understand what this art says about our world, the culture of our world. I think that collectively this art is saying something about this moment, I think that it means something beyond simply someone smearing their fingers through the paint on a persons face. So I muddle, picking through the minutia of art, looking at different works, parsing them for meaning, comparing them and writing ridiculously ungrammatical sentences. As always if you see your art here and want me to remove it please email me at email@example.com and I will take it down right away. None of this art is mine. All art is attributed, and if you click on it will take you to the spot where I found it.
So I have found many artists, especially photographers, go to great lengths to hide the face of their subjects by portraying only their subjects backs or cutting off their subjects heads. For instance:
I understand that in photography to sell clothes that maybe they might want show the back of a garment. With the Nike jacket photo, it is obvious they only want the logo shown, so cutting the head out must have seemed like an obvious choice. It can’t be denied that showing and revealing can be provocative. There are many explicit photos online that cut out the faces of the women photographed to focus on their uhm – anatomy, that are not in any way art like classical nudes. Also, like in drawing or painting nudes focus on parts of the body, showing off muscle structure or the form of the body. What about these two photographs by Julian Vallasso?
The deletion of the head is so complete they almost appear decapitated. The article with the photo speaks about the relationship of the body with nature, but that apparently does not include the head. There is aesthetic beauty in these photos, but the identity of the subjects is missing. It is replaced by the intent of the photographer. That is always the case, but this just seems to make that very pronounced.
Also there are many photographs of women with their faces obscured by their long hair:
All of these photos obscure the face, deliberately. These are photographs. There are also drawings, paintings and digital art that do the same thing.