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Comments Posted 02.16.14 | PERMALINK | PRINT

John Foster

Face Time


The human face. It has been proven that humans are hardwired to recognize the human face, even to the point of finding it in the world around us with manmade and natural objects. The renowned designer and photographer François Robert and his brother Jean are well-known for their photographic discovery of "faces" they find in inanimate objects.

This week, I look at the endless fascination we have with the human face and the myriad ways it can be transformed.


Face Time
Geometry of the Human Face

Face Time
Maori woman, Rotorua, New Zealand
Arthur James Iles (1870 - 1943) (New Zealander)

Face Time
Ainu, probably early 20th century, Hokkaido, Japan

Face Time
Beau Dickis one of the Northwest Coast’s most versatile and talented carvers. For more than three decades, he has actively perpetuated the ceremonial traditions of his people, the Kwakwaka’wakw. […]
A carver who takes much of his inspiration and technique from traditional Kwakwaka’wakw art, Beau’s work has been particularly noted for its embrace of contemporary influences, often incorporating European and Asian styles into his creations. His masks in particular have been lauded for their rough yet realistic presentation, representing a piece that is both austere yet incredibly life-like. As the artist himself has put it:
“My style is sometimes referred to as “Potlatch Style” as it comes from a tradition of ceremony which requires many masks to be made in a short period of time. It takes many years of practice and an understanding of balance in order to create a work that is appears finished in a natural and instinctive manner, without seeming overthought.” […]

Face Time
Japanese American ID Badge for Sakae Ikemoto, (1941 -1945)
Tule Lake Relocation Center

Face Time
Black Swan by Tamar Levine

Face Time
Fedora man and mask

Face Time
Le Petit Écho de la Mode - 26 septembre 1937

Face Time
Kodachrome Slide of a Man in Hospital 1957

Face Time
Space Action Comic Book, c. 1940s

Face Time
Unidentified Maori woman holding a patu, [190-?]
Half-length seated portrait of an unidentified Maori woman holding a patu. She has short close cropped hair decorated with a feather. A tiki hangs around her neck and she wears (shark?) tooth eardrops on ribbons. She has a chin moko and is wrapped in a pake (rain cape). Photograph taken circa 190-? for the New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department by an unidentified photographer.

Face Time
Portrait of Man by Koos Breukel

Face Time
19th century portrait of man with bandages

Face Time
Damaged painting of Abraham Lincoln, c. 1930s
Collection of John Foster

Face Time
Man with Mask

Face Time
Plaster head that had been left outside for decades, c. 1950
Collection of John Foster

Face Time

Face Time
Lobster man

Face Time
Mexican Wrestler

Face Time
Bulgarian bride masks her blushes
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John Foster and his wife, Teenuh, have been longtime collectors of self-taught art and vernacular photography. Their collection of anonymous, found snapshots has toured the country for five years and has been featured in Harper’s, Newsweek Online and others.
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