The Naked Face


WIP by Jennie

Most of my pieces are missing faces. you may have noticed. usually I have obscured them or edited them from the composition. Faceless people and masks have always disturbed and intrigued me. it’s always seemed to me that they are holding up a mirror or hiding from the world.

To clear something up from the start, I used to specialize in portraiture and still do occasionally so it isn’t because I can’t paint faces. There is a meaning that is evolving from my work, a feeling and a reason behind it all. some comes down to my personal identity issues and my history, the pieces without faces are some of the strongest for that reason.

This is an excerpt from an interview about this very subject. I think it still holds true. if anything, this statement on my faceless nudes helped solidify my reasons and revealed some new ways forward in my works.

An author frequently will not describe their characters too much to enable the reader to imagine themselves in the characters shoes. In a way, that is what I am doing here. it is easier to relate to the women and easier to understand their feelings and feel them yourself if not distracted by a face. This series of work is about the body and how we, as women, feel about ours. I have done plenty of portraiture work and felt that it would be best for myself to create these feelings if I could focus on the body and not on the face. This also made the pieces challenging from an execution point of view as I needed to convey feeling through the body alone. This adds complexity to the understanding of the piece by allowing the viewer to question the meaning and the feel because all of the expression is borne by body language

Read the full interview here

I’ve been thinking for a while on it, and I wanted to bring my facelessness to the next level and make them more confrontational. I am no longer hiding the faces but bringing them out, blank but somehow still screaming emotion. the face could be anyone, underneath the basic form it could be you, me, your mother, best friend in high school or the girl you always loved. It is becoming a signature of my work, evolving naturally over time.

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