How many portraits of faceless women, with fungi in place of their heads have you ever seen? None?
Well, until now, that is.
Ewa Juszkiewicz (born 1984 in Gdansk, Poland) is an award-winning polish artist, predominantly famous for her paintings. She focuses on reinterpreting classic, historic female portraits so that the figures’ heads are replaced by fungi, flowers, bugs, intricate draperies or other surprising, yet disturbing forms. The faceless women are her signature.
Reimagining classical portrait
Her work is sometimes described as feminist appropriation art, as she reimagines classical portraiture, created in a vast majority by male painters, from a masculine point of view and gives those paintings a new life by detaching them from their original form and meanings.
The influence of Flemish art on her is clearly visible both in the colors and composition of the paintings and in the technical mastery that she presents as an artist.
Portraits of faceless women
The deformed figures in her works pose many questions about our human nature and culture. They contest traditional ideas of beauty and harmony, challenging the boundaries of our acceptance.
Moreover, in all their strangeness they also represent the natural fear of things so alien. One finds the portrayed figures disturbing, as they represent something to which we are so unaccustomed.
By removing the faces of the depicted women, she completely changes the perspective with which one looks at the works.
Instead of admiring the perfect beauty of the models, viewing them from the male point of view in which the portrayed women were often objectified and had their role diminished, the depersonalization is in that case empowerment. By freeing the women in her paintings from the rigors of ideal beauty, she gives them a new life in which they are completely autonomous, unlike the women in the original paintings which inspired Juszkiewicz.
Through her art, Ewa Juszkiewicz reminds us like no other, that even today beauty can be both a blessing and a curse.
Find out more:
- Should you want to see more weird paintings, check out our article”These 5 Weird Portraits from Kunsthistorisches Museum Will Make You Wonder“