In an abandoned church in Detroit, Michigan, a naked woman, lying down where the altar once was, is visible from the chest up. The woman, one of Faith47’s latest murals, is curled in on herself intimately. The peaceful image is especially beautiful beneath a decorative window, surrounded by colorful exposed bricks and a variety of graffiti. Faith47, the South African street and studio artist who has travelled the world to bring images of human intimacy to dilapidated buildings, is working on series called 7.83 Hz. Named after the so-called ‘atmospheric heartbeat’ which occurs when thousands of thunderstorms combine to create a high-frequency resonance, the series depicts nude and sensual portraits with tenderness, while simultaneously allowing her subjects to hide from the viewer’s gaze.
Lately, Faith47 has been working in the United States, where she has painted new murals in Lexington, Cleveland, and Detroit. She also has a new mural in Athens. Her Kentucky mural 410-340 BC, which can be seen at top, shows another woman curled over. This woman, who is older, has a more distressed posture than the peaceful woman in 315-307 BC, though this woman’s face is hidden. An overturned chair near the mural mirrors the woman’s anxious posture.
Faith47’s latest portraits depict women who are simultaneously exposed and hidden. Their nakedness is undermined by their posture. They fold in on themselves strikingly, refusing to allow the viewer’s gaze too much access. They are self-contained, but their portraits still feel vivacious and vulnerable. Faith47 tells the Creators Project that she is “contrasting the fragility of the internal and external structures within society.” As she continues 7.83 Hz, Faith47 will work to continue capturing what she calls the “fragile psychology” of people through historical and architectural lenses.
To learn more, check out Faith47's website.