K, 2017

The artist was inspired by advertising billboards he saw in Panama, which feature women’s faces that have been smoothed out to the point of erasing their personality. As a filmmaker would do, he zoomed on this face so close that it is partially cut out and incomplete. By moving his “paintbrush camera” so close he treats this female face as if it was an object, which is precisely the purpose of advertising, in particular when selling beauty products. This approach renders the face empty, almost dead, especially because it is not contextualized. But by zooming this way, the artist also highlights the gaze of this woman who has been so objectified that she doesn’t even have a name, just a letter, K. And her gaze is very expressive, as if she tried to exist beyond the image and the commercial profit that is sought through her. She seems defiant, aware that she is exploited and ready to stand up as she looks far ahead, maybe towards a future where women will not be treated as objects. The treatment is smooth, flat, and the pastel colors highlight the contrast between the artificial aspect of advertising imagery and the humanity of all women. K’s mouth is shut, but she smiles discreetly and her silence speaks volumes.