By James Foritano
It was raining on the Sunday before Martin Luther King Day and the brightest email I received that morning invited me to come and view Danforth Art’s current exhibit “Facial Expressions,” where an artist acquaintance of mine happened to be exhibiting a portrait.
Why not? I love to people watch! And so, we launched ourselves from Cambridge into a grey curtain of rain and soon were stepping up to Danforth Art’s front door on Framingham’s Union Avenue.
The pair of docents who stepped up to take us in hand must have intuited our mission’s carefree spirit since they kept us well back from the scholarly placards and asked that we only look and tell what we saw.
I did eventually see Suzanne Hodes’ portrait of Oskar Kokoschka, a powerful rendition of one of my favorite expressionist painters. Otherwise, though, I saw faces in a crowd, and they were all unique, as are all faces, and all well-done portraits of faces.
If you go, and the docents are busy elsewhere, imagine that you are invited only to look at what the artists of these portraits looked at. Say you’re sitting at a café with a friend or two, be honest enough to disqualify yourself if a friend or acquaintance goes by, and just say what you see on the passing faces — and maybe how those faces sit on their shoulders.
Yes, and leave your briefcase, smart-phone etc. in the car or coatroom just so you won’t be tempted.
(“Facial Expressions” remains on view through March 1 at Danforth Art, 123 Union Ave., Framingham, Mass. For more information, call (508) 620-0050.)