I See Faces by Álvaro Peñalta

“I See Faces” is a personal project from Spanish art director Álvaro Peñalta in collaboration with Josep Prat Sorolla. Enigmatic and aesthetic, the series presents portraits that seem to play hide-and-seek with geometric shapes whose vibrant colors catch the eye and lead the viewer to question himself.

The project concept was inspired by the psychological phenomenon of pareidolia and the universe of illustrators of the 80s. «Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon where a specific, often meaningful image, is perceived in a random or ambiguous visual pattern. The title refers to a homonym movement emerged from social media, based in a hashtag which collects pictures from users that are involuntarily experiencing this phenomenon. Our minds are capable of finding faces in an involuntary way when they look at geometric shapes that are disposed apparently random», explains the artist.

Watch behind the scenes below:

The title refers to a homonym movement emerged from social media, based in a hashtag which collects pictures from users that are involuntarily experiencing this phenomenon. Our minds are capable of finding faces in an involuntary way when they look at geometric shapes that are disposed apparently random.

To represent that concept, we portray 6 characters as 6 blank canvas. The pallor of their skins reminds the lack of polychromy and statism of the sculptures from the classical greek and roman art. Each model tries to capture an attitude, a frozen expression in time. In front of the models, the shapes that deconstruct and frame each face are the brushstrokes that bring color to each situation.

With this process, we fuse the organics from the human anatomy with the artificial and plastic-look that comes from the installation’s polychromed shapes. The project is, at the same time, inspired in 80’s illustrators works that composed faces starting from geometric shapes like: Peter Sato, Noriyuki Tanaka, Akio Miyake, Yukio Kitta, Peret or Susan Pizzo. Also photographers like Erwin Blumenfeld, who experimented with tinted translucent materials that projected color on his models, or Terry Jones, a graphic designer who created several covers for the i-D magazine.

Photographed by Hellobienstudio

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