by Ariadna Zierold
The recent works of Toronto-based visual artist Brian Donnelly are focused on portraiture. These portraits show all kinds of distortions, unsettling mutilations that deny any trace of socially accepted beauty or fragmented facial features that reveal human limitations and speak of vulnerability.
The hair and sometimes the eyes, mostly remaining part of the composition to increase the work’s expressiveness and visual impact through confronting or connecting with the viewer in striking ways, are the very few recognizable elements still left untouched by what feels like a spontaneous, rapid and irreparable erosion.
This powerful impression of imperfection and incompleteness captures gestures of despair or fear, if physically possible, depending on the extent of their distortion, the depicted subjects are hopelessly screaming, while we are silently witnessing a slaughter scene that it is too late to prevent.