This is the “latest” (many years old) out of a series of 50 faces I was trying to make. Perhaps I’ll explain it fully one day, but although it’s rather morbid, it has a lot of personal meaning for me. My goal was 50 but I only got to 8. I made many of these when I last lived in Japan, in the northern part of Tokyo. Here’s one of my favorites that despite trying to make look dead, looks frighteningly alive.
Here’s a process post. I started out with a sketch that was supposed to be part of another series I’m working on (“dead faces” – 50 of them – I’ll explain in the future) but it took on a life of its own. Specifically, I thought it looked a bit like a noh mask.
So I wasn’t sure if I should leave it as-is, not touch it, let it be just in this form. It didn’t seem finished, but I didn’t want to ruin or overwork it. Then I hit on an idea: ink! It turns out I barely had to use any, because the charcoal I did the sketch with reacted so well with the water, but I did it a little. Here’s the result, which I’m extremely happy with.