Jeffrey Palladini depicts lots of people in his paintings, but you never see their full faces. Their bare skin? Yes. Their hair? Yes. Palladini’s art asks viewers to guess at the mystery behind the figures.
That’s the thing. Without faces, there’s no demonstrated emotion. Palladini says he does not want you to see a face that’s expressing physical pain or that’s sad or is particularly happy or ecstatic. He wants the emotions to be conveyed through the dramatic composition, and the close cropping, and the body language, and the color temperature, and the viewers’ own stories. It’s too easy with figurative work to make it just this demonstrated emotion. I’d rather that people intuit it or that they feel it, and then they can build the story from there.
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