Faceless Portraits

What's in a face? In a standard portrait, the face is the focal point of the image, central to the composition. The works in this collection, however, take a different approach, featuring artists who depict their subjects without showing their faces—forcing the viewer to take notice of what else the body has to offer. While works by Jamie Baldridge, Bill Viola, and Klara Kristaleva intentionally obscure the faces of the people portrayed, lending them a surrealistic feel, others—such as those by Jen DeNike and Diane Wah—capture their subjects from behind. Finally, artists such as John Cohen and David Levinthal represent individuals solely through fragments of the body. Introducing a new perspective on portraiture, these artists reveal the personality of their subjects without recourse to their facial expressions, expanding the definition of the genre.

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