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After watching a colleague slowly succumb to the devastating effects of cancer, Eric De Becker began to paint. Like many artists, he painted portraits, to give a glimpse of the human experience—but that’s where the similarities ended.

His project, entitled 100 Faces, shows humanity in a harsh, truthful light. Each highly-expressive abstract painting reveals our worries, fears, longings, and pain. . . all of the emotions we typically try to hide the most.

1

With a few lines of charcoal, and a careful application of paint, Eric uses simplicity and contrast to reveal his subject’s faces. Then, he obscures them, removing their capacity for speech, or hearing, or sight—leaving portions of their humanity walled away.

2

Eric’s colors are chosen for their stark intensity. Deep red. Pale blue. Alabaster white, and cavernous black. There’s simply nowhere to hide; no gentle light to smooth over the cares and worries seen in these furrowed brows.

3

As portraits go, these are shocking. But they are also honest.

And as often as we surround ourselves with art that delights, that encourages, that fills our souls with a sense of wonder, maybe once in a while, we should also partake in art that offers a little bit of truth.

Follow along with Eric’s ongoing project, 100 Faces, here.

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