Good artwork has good "face"

by phil on Wednesday May 12, 2010 3:45 PM

When describing good art, I often say it has good "face." This happens when artwork activates the same part of my brain that is used when looking at faces. Faces are the highest-density memories we have, and so when a piece of art is done well, your brain wants to memorize it as fully as it would a pretty face. I imagine a Terminator-style facial recognition system that is mapping a thousand features per second of the artwork the same way it would map the salient features of someone's face.

Making good "face" is actually done deliberately in automobile design. More time is spent making the front of the car have attitude than is spent making the car aerodynamic. The more indelible of an impression the face makes, the more it sells.

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