Deborah Putman’s 2009 canvas Vefele Looks in the Mirror is one of the portraits featured in the current Facing Time exhibit at Surrey Art Gallery. Contributed photo

Deborah Putman’s 2009 canvas Vefele Looks in the Mirror is one of the portraits featured in the current Facing Time exhibit at Surrey Art Gallery. Contributed photo

Online conversation highlights Surrey Art Gallery show

Discussion focuses on facial representation in art and popular culture

Surrey Art Gallery is taking away the masks – figuratively speaking – to present an up-close look at the human face.

Contemporary approaches to portraiture and other types of facial representation in art and popular culture will be the subject of an online discussion Feb. 27, from 2 to 3 p.m available live (and subsequently as a recording) on the gallery’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Close Up: In Conversation will feature exhibiting artists Jaswant Guzder and María Angélica Madero from the gallery’s current Facing Time exhibit (which runs until March 27 at 13750 88 Ave.) joined by show curator Missla Libsekal and gallery curator Jordan Strom in a conversation on wide-ranging topics including artist self-portraiture, psychological ideas connected with faces, and the effects of social media and biometric surveillance of faces.

A publicity release for Facing Time notes that the face is our means of reading others, from smiling or frowning to more complex expressions of hope, fear, or approval.

“During this pandemic, faces have taken on heightened significance,” the release states.

“Most of our interactions with others happen virtually. Masks cover much of our face, only leaving us to communicate with our eyes.”

While masks and physical distancing make it hard to get close to physical faces at present, visitors can still get up close and personal with the faces represented in the exhibit, the gallery release points out.

Included in the current show are collages of archival portraits, psychological portraiture, altered faces from art history as art stamps, photographs of amateur baseball players, drawings of aged faces suffering from illness, needlepoint representations of French philosophers, terracotta heads, and artworks that use social media as a medium.

To pre-book an exhibition visit of Facing Time – recommended due to pandemic visiting limits – email artgallery@surrey.ca or call 604-501-5566, ext. 1.

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