Pareidolia is the phenomenon of perceiving things that don’t exist in inanimate objects, such as human faces on the moon or animal heads in rocks. Over the years, the Swiss painter and writer Jean Willi (b. 1945) has photographed rocks that appear to have faces, discovering a realm of stone apparently teeming with petrified “souls.” Often it’s just the sunlight tracing patterns on the rock or only two dark spots like eyes, which the viewer fashions into a face in his or her mind’s eye. Underlying Willi’s photographic record of this phenomenon is a questioning of our so-called reality: what do we actually perceive and what do we unconsciously alter to form into something familiar? Many of the faces in Steingesichter seem so real that it’s hard to believe their features are drawn only by nature and the play of light with no rearranging of rocks or photographic retouching.
8 ½ x 5 ¾ in. / 208 pp / 98 color
Retail Price: $40.00