Face in the Window

Face In The Window
S. Nesbit
Found 02/2012, Goodwill (2222 and Lamar)

The violation of a robbery or other crime is profound, a paranoia that lingers for weeks after the event, or longer. Nesbit shows how an isolated event dominates one’s entire worldview by restricting the unnatural and frightening element of the piece to the lower right corner, the last cell in the grid. This intrusion in what is metaphorically the last place you look dominates the image. The dark hood the intruder wears only calls attention to him, although the cheerful red and yellow design does little to help his attempt at stealth.

02-2012GW2222Crime2bThe face itself warrants some additional attention. The threat is very much from a white person. The degree to which the picture emphasizes this makes it noteworthy, as the intruder’s eyes are the same striking blue as the dark sky behind him. This runs counter to this culture’s traditional narrative of crime and criminals, and as this is a choice on the part of the artist, it is worth pointing out. Interestingly, the features of the intruder do not seem hostile, the criminal has full lips, wide eyes, and an expression that, in a different context, might even be friendly and empathetic—we may even be making an unwarranted assumption in referring to the criminal as a him. The unusual warmth of the face itself may suggest a second narrative: that this intruder is someone known by the artistic voice’s persona, and that the boundary of the window is not purely a physical one.

Note: Face In The Window was found together with Ringbearer by the same artist, which is displayed in Nichodemus von Buda’s Gallery of the Night. Some of the Museum’s staff have placed these two pieces together in the Therapeutic Archive, Gallery of the Night, or some other gallery entirely. The Museum’s current curator has resolved not to be involved in these territorial disputes.

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