Sorry we're late on this week's blog post! Yesterday we were busy getting ready for Ashleigh Coleman's reception for her photography show Piece of Heart. Thanks to everyone who came out last night, by the way! Piece of Heart will be hanging in The Roost for the rest of March. So come by!
The other day the topic of faces in art came up in conversation. Specifically, how some people prefer pieces of art that do not have any "human" figures in the piece (whether it's sculpture, painting, etc.). Others don't mind having bodies in their art, but not faces. Others still don't mind faces... as long as they are familiar faces (portraits, for example).
While we are not here to judge either way and have in our collection a wide variety of choices for everyone, it's still an interesting topic to think about. When I was a young child, I had a print of a painting of a girl picking flowers outside of a barn. While I never lived in the country until my adult life, the scene itself was very bucolic and I often wondered who the girl was, where she came from, and whether she was picking flowers for herself or someone else.
Edward Hopper paintings are famously used in creative writing classes to inspire writers to make up stories about the human subjects in his scenes. We have a Benny Melton painting of a professor walking across what looks to be like the University of Mississippi's campus. I don't know if the professor's likeness is based on a real person or an archetype of a UM educator. In any case, whenever I see it, I'm reminded of fun times that I've had on that same campus.
A positive aspect of not having humans in a painting, for example, is that you, the viewer, is allowed to step inside the scene for yourself. A sweeping Delta landscape by Richard Kelso draws you in and suddenly you're gazing across the agrarian world into the pink sunset. And you don't have to worry about the story of someone else in the scene because it's only about the landscape and your place in it.
Which do you prefer?