“Everything is about the face.”

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This is based on the fact that, when we meet someone new it takes something like 7 seconds to determine if we like them or not, and that’s not from their feet or hands. Everything is about the face, so when we look at portraits in museums…what remains is access through facial expressions.

The German artist Volker Hermes has masterfully modified a selection of paintings in his artistic approach ‘Hidden Portraits’ to shift the viewer’s focus away from the face and toward surrounding influences.

As he had managed to reinterpreted historical paintings through a modern lens; in this case, the investigation of expression when the face is obscured.

Noting that Hermes’ works took on a new significance in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, With his intention in obscuring the face.

In his ‘Hidden Portraits’ series, He blocked the ‘facial access’ and he shifted the focus. And by doing so he has invented new headpieces, enlarge wigs, make the individuality disappear behind opulent surfaces, then He forced the viewer to re-engage with a portrait; to look at it anew. Sometimes with masks too.
“This closes the circle to our current life situation.” according to Herms.

‘Portrait of Eleonora Gonzaga’ one of Volker Hermes’ great art ‘Hidden Portraits’.

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