Facial perception and distortion

bacon study of a man talking,

Few artists have been able to convey unnerving anguish in their paintings as has Bacon. One device for which he is known is distorting the human face to the point that it becomes distressing to the viewer. In this example shown here (Study of a Man Talking, 1981) the man’s face is all a blur. It is difficult to view this painting without an emotional response. These human reactions are widespread and suggest that facial perception stimulates the limbic system (tied to emotional responses) as well as visual recognition centers. (Solso 1933: 142)


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