The second selection focuses on the dilution process of faces, hence of matter.
The three studies, show with no ambiguity the erasure of features which is seen half way through completion. The faces are stained or scratched in order to erase recognition of a given identity. The faces are neither women or men. The wind of destruction is selective as it does proceed in stages, sparing an eye or an outline.
The two first ones unravel bluntly a gaze losing its former humanity as it is becoming clouded, with portions of features (outlines) swallowed by the destructive force of nothingness acting as a powerful and awesome wind, that knows no impediment in its cancellation of features and breath.
The studies are reminiscent of Vanitas stressing man’s inevitable decay and mortality, and the third one presents superimposed and broken layer(s) of heightened white paint acting like a shroud silencing the face for ever. However, Vanitas did not present in paintings, such an advanced stage of decay in spite of the presence of still life (peeled fruits, or an unfinished meal). They were intended as a warning addressed to the viewer to ponder on his own life. The series of studies in the present case could easily be compared to a contemporary interpretation of a Vanity in motion, as each study presents a varying approach of alteration and disfigurement.
The last drawing is reminiscent of Ancient Egypt’s belief and convention about faces correlated with the soul of the individual. In order to destroy the intrinsic memory of the dead, names and titles were altered and or erased. There is therefore a discrepancy between the first two drawings that still allow the breath of life which is muffled in the third drawing, interpreted as being devoid of life.
The artist produces expression by the advanced depiction of nothingness subject to the degree of alteration, hence conveying existence to the remains of life and the furtherance of nothingness, with both states of being and non-being linked again.
By Sylvie Samani