A powerful sensuality exudes from Thora Hamilton’s provocative paintings of males and females whose sullen eyes and parted lips are also a playful simulation of icons from the world of the beautiful, yet shot through somehow, in Thora’s creations, with something wholly elusive, far, far deeper and far more intimate.
A typical Hamilton work contrasts an immense facial image against an action-field abstract ground. Faces or figures comprise streaks of primaries and brushed-on fluorescents or blobs of undiluted hand-applied blacks, greys and whites, floodlit visages perhaps seeing nothing, really, as they stare into the camera, though pleading for no more than the mere attention of somebody .... anybody...
Thora has a fascination for the ephemeral nature of facial expression and the unsettling way that who we are inside can be read and equally disappear again with the tiniest quiver of an eye, nose or lip muscle.
Leonardo and Bronzino
in particular were masters of the ambiguous in portraiture: what is
it in a face that can captivate and hypnotise? Such charisma is now
the stuff of up-front people, stars and models whose paparazzi and public
beg them, as Madonna commands, to “strike a pose”.
Once upon a time,
Helen of Troy was the face that launched a thousand ships. And now?
men crying? women pouting? divas and heroes ... putas and machos ...
no matter ... whatever ... all are for the taking!!!