faces

art painting

I recently read (part of) an in depth study that confirms that when we see faces in things—like tree bark patterns, peanut butter bread with a banana smile and raisin eyes, googly eyes glued to a rock, and so on... the default face is nearly always seen as: male.

Arggghhh, really? How can this be? There are 50% women living on planet earth!

OK, so it is what it is! Then I thought, well, I can share some of the images of my Shhh, Say Nothing: an honest look at silenced voices series!

You tell me, do you see male or female faces?

Purple Lipped Confusion, 2019, mixed media on wood panel, 24 x 24 inches.

Love Note, 2019, mixed media on wood panel, 36 x 24 inches.

Words Out, 2020, mixed media on wood panel, 36 x 36 inches.

Soul's Bulls Eye, 2020, mixed media on wood panel, 24 x 24 inches.

Dropped Voice, 2019, mixed media on wood panel, 48 x 36 inches.

What about the images indicated "female" to you? What about the images indicates "male"? Will we as a human race ever begin to see all humans as human, and maybe not necessarily as male or female?

I have no answers. However, I do feel as though my passion for painting faces that lean towards female, but that are also quite abstract can move the pendulum of viewers deciding what might be male or female or neither about a face.

If you are interested in the article I reference about face recognition I have included a link here:

***NOT AVAILABLE*** https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/?ui=2&ik=e53b9414f7&view=lg&permmsgid=msg-f%3A1724086957291610609&ser=1 ***NOT AVAILABLE*** 

Try this one, it is similar: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/faces-objects-imaginary-male-female-perception-pareidolia

or this one: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2117413119

While male face is the default, I know I matter. You do too! Tell your stories, I want to know you.

PS. All of the art shown on this blog post are available and I can send you pricing upon request. For gallery owners and spaces that sell art please contact me for your upcoming show needs. Thank You.


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  • Ebony on

    I see female faces in your work.

  • Suzanne on

    Hello All! Ok, so it seems that the post/article I shared is no longer available. However, I found a new article that references the same topic. Here it is: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/faces-objects-imaginary-male-female-perception-pareidolia

    I thank all of you for your very thoughtful comments. -Suzanne

  • Susan Lindberg on

    I see images in almost everything I encounter. My husband is amazed at what I conjure up. We walk together a lot, and he can’t get over my imagination. I remember seeing faces in the cracked ceiling as a child. It amused me to recognize faces wherever I was, whatever I was doing. I still do! I’ve always been surprised everyone doesn’t “see” what the world conjures up in the simplest things. I find it hard to believe that everyone doesn’t see what I do, but I have found that guys don’t really seem as interested in their surroundings as I am.

  • Jenny on

    Your faces have always looked female to me, Suzanne. As I scrolled through the ones here and went with my first impression “Purple Lipped Confusion” did come across as male.

  • Sarah on

    I see a mix of male, female, and unspecified. Very interesting to think about.



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