Thursday, July 27, 2017

when people think of "what they look like" I think most of them break their face up into two parts. theres the part that is their essential likeness, and the other part could be thought of as "flaws." they dont see the weird things as being parts of their actual likeness but rather group the "weird things" in the same place as they would put acne, drool, hairstyle. If these parts were gotten rid of, their actual face would still be there, unchanged. But when we look at others, particularly those we havent met or arent close to, we see it all. Whats there is there. We use all the information to distinguish this person from other people. But the person whos face it is has some relatively small set of people that they take into account. And their own face has only to be distinguished from amongst all these people that they know or see often enough. But a caricature or portrait artist doesn't know how big this set is, so even if he is only to convince this one individual that he is depicting them, he has to be as specific as possible, and ignore no grotesque detail. So in this light one can see going generic as more of an empty gesture. The artist's responsibility is to entertain while with this infinite handicap, the necessity for likeness, and yet the responsibility stands. Having never drawn nor even seen this, the shape of what is now sitting before him. To the craftsman, to the workman, to those whos skill is acquired through practice and habit and repetition, the feat of capturing likeness can then be only seen as impossible, but to the observer, the passer through, the seer, its as simple as seeing, because the most garish and unusual thing before you is all youre required to draw.

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