The face has been the subject matter of artists for millennia. It has been interpreted from the renderings in cave paintings of primal humans to the abstractions of our times. It has been used to memorialize those before us, including the artists, themselves, and to convey messages affecting our present conditions.
The five senses are expressed from it, even that of touch, as with the touch of the day’s breeze, the rubbing of cheeks, or the kiss of the lips. The individual’s sustenance commences from the face, with the breath inhaled and exhaled from the nose, and the ingestion taken in from the mouth. Positioned as bookends, the ears hear and feel the vibrations of the world. Communication commences from there, as well, including verbal expression.
At its essence, the face is the first thing we notice in a person. First impressions are based on how we view the face of the person met. The face bears the eyes, poetically referred to, as the “windows of the soul.” Coupled with facial expressions, the face transcends and expresses the universal language of emotions, regardless of
linguistic, cultural, historical or geographical differences.
Yet, the face is also a mask. It contains behind it, the secret thoughts and language that the person may want to share or not share with others. It may inform us of things said, or things unsaid. It is the projection the person makes to the world, be it poker faced, or transparent. It is a map of the person’s life – a universe, in and of itself.
This series, from the whimsical interpretations of the artist, Rosaria Æstus Vigorito using the red lips as a unifying theme, employs the direct color, on paper, of inks and acrylic ink. Several are androgynous in nature. Each contains its own unique expression. A few faces are overtly presented. Many of the other faces are veiled behind a lattice. Presented as a mosaic quilt, these images entice the viewer into a philosophical and psychological dialogue of the inner emotions and feelings that these faces contain, of the story that they individually and collectively weave.