Photographer Terry Frishman sees faces everywhere, but reassures us, “This ability is not a symptom of psychosis!” In fact, this phenomenon has a name — pareidolia (par-i-DOH-lee-a), Greek for “false images” — and helps provide a way into her enigmatic images, now on display in a member’s exhibition at the Rhode Island Center for the Photographic Arts (RICPA), now through August 13.
My Pareidolia Art reveals imaginary people, birds, otherworldly landscapes, fantastical creatures, kissers, dancers and more — that appear like paintings before me on tree trunks and street curbs.
If you have seen a man in the moon, or your parents having sex in a Rorschach test (what . . . just me?), then you have experienced pareidolia.
There is a lot to like in this exhibition which features five pieces each from photographers Pierre Hauser, Lawrence Manning, Rustam Tahir, Cindy Weisbart, and Cindy Wilson, as well as Frishman, who was on hand yesterday to walk me through her grouping, “Found Profiles.” The following are her comments, edited for clarity. She describes this work as
. . . metaphors for the overlooked and an awakening of the imagination, and seeing what we often walk past and step on, in a new way, with appreciation. . . . There’s a universality about seeing faces . . . my work has a lot that goes beyond faces, that includes landscapes and conversations . . . this piece “Separated Souls” [my favorite] was created by melted snow on the ground. My work is intended as a way to provide another way of seeing.
Frishman is pictured here next to “Dorian Gray.” You can follow Terry Frishman on Instagram.
Gallery hours: Thursday – Saturdays, noon to 6pm/third Thursdays, 5pm – 8pm. And by appointment.