Faces – even those of complete strangers - readily give us clues about personality, appearance and state of mind. But we also rely on body language, gesture, tone of voice, and facial expressions to fully realize the person, and when that face is frozen in a moment of time (as in a portrait), we are limited in the clues that are revealed.
I am intrigued by faces that are suspended in a specific moment of time – a moment when the person has retreated to some unknown interior space or conversely when they challenge the viewer with a direct look. We cannot know their thoughts, but complex emotions can be signaled in the simplest look or gesture, and although their faces offer clues to a private narrative and history, we are left to create a biography based on our own curiosity, assumptions, and biases. And we are doomed to never know if we guessed correctly.