I have found that even when an image of a face is altered and distorted, but still includes something recognizable such as an eye, nose and/or mouth, an expression still remains. Why is that? It appears we have our amygdala1 to thank for that. It’s the region of the brain that judges what a face is saying. As soon as we recognize what we’re looking at is a face, we are moved, consciously or unconsciously, to read what that face is saying.
A facial expression can be an emotion, a message being purposefully relayed, or a passing thought. When our eyes see an expression on a face (distorted or otherwise), our amygdala automatically reads, deciphers and judges it based on our personal experiences, personality and opinions. A smile can can be read as happiness or mischief. A crumpled face can be anger or pain.
My paintings are expressions: emotions; messages; and thoughts. They are created using shapes, lines and colour and a name is offered as a guide to what it could be. I invite you to look at one of my paintings and decide for yourself what the expression means to you…and perhaps wonder why. What brought you to that conclusion?
1 Amygdala article: http://www.caltech.edu/news/facial-expressions-how-brains-process-emotion-54800