This month, the Hofstra FORM Gallery featured a collection of paintings that truly encapsulates the emotion behind a face with no name.
Gazing out from the walls of Calkins Hall were the piercing stares of a few of Shelby Kravitz’s visions, captured by her mind’s eye and peering thoughtfully behind the glass of the frames in which they’re contained.
Through the power of art, “Nameless” emphasizes the wonder of the unknown and presents the viewer with an inside look into the musings and inspiration of a young artist. While contemplating Kravitz’s artwork, the notion of identity became a much more fluid concept.
Placed on the left wall of the gallery is a lone image of a young woman with a scarf wrapped loosely around her neck, falling gracefully from her chin and spilling delicately onto her chest. Her light eyes and everted face evoke a feeling of mystery and pensiveness. Viewers are made to question what the woman may be thinking.
Another figure lives in solidarity on the gallery’s right wall. Clothed in a red uniform with a plumed helmet, the figure grasps a piccolo between her disciplined hands tipped with red nail polish. The fiery color dominates the image – save for the light blue of the background, the musician’s piercing eyes and the stripes of her helmet.
Upon the center wall exists the final five pieces of the exhibition’s display. An image of a tightly-clothed woman with a full-lipped smile, another of three red roses in the pocket of faded jeans and a final portrait of a young man in a blue T-shirt sit side by side. The blue that envelopes the woman’s striking figure and the ocean of the boy’s shirt make the image of the roses stand out all the more. Kravitz frames the pieces in a way that emphasizes the ability of color to shape our perception of identity and character.
Next to these pieces are the last two of the display: images of a young girl in a pink flannel shirt with her head buried by her arms and a light-haired woman with a gray blouse. The girl, whose face is concealed from viewers, is a sharp contrast to the dark stare of the confident woman beside her – the two figures together foster two very different emotions that seem to convey a sense of both longing and curiosity.
The images Kravitz has decided to display in the collection “Nameless” are an incredible example of the many different facets of color, portraiture and identity – or lack thereof.