Emotional Conflict – How to show it without words?

How do artists depict emotional conflict without words? How do they show an individual facing opposing simultaneous emotions? How do they create the tension inherent to that situation?

Here are some images I found around the internet – some photos, some digital art, some paintings. To me they show more than one thing happening at once in the individual’s energy.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/83/17/9b/83179b25880a37f6a27222ac27aa7a3b.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/83/17/9b/83179b25880a37f6a27222ac27aa7a3b.jpg

The double exposure and clever use of colour brings a lot of energy and movement.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/fa/79/c7/fa79c748cf08c5dc3edd495b9c659632.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/fa/79/c7/fa79c748cf08c5dc3edd495b9c659632.jpg

The composite images are a really powerful adjustment to the form of the body. I especially like the ‘muzzle’ effect on the face.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/42/b0/91/42b091713c5c299167b3b70c090c08ab.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/42/b0/91/42b091713c5c299167b3b70c090c08ab.jpg

This is an interesting look at the elements that make up someone, their interest etc. I like the background around the faces.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/76/00/92/7600924c2c53804d44d6b7a12f3cab97.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/76/00/92/7600924c2c53804d44d6b7a12f3cab97.jpg

Two faces very cleverly placed on top of each other. It has an effect like there are multiple faces though and took me a while to figure out it’s actually only two!

http://artsyforager.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Howland5-480x639.jpg

Meghan Howland: http://artsyforager.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Howland5-480×639.jpg

Translucent white skin, a dark background, upside down body and rising party balloons… so much going on here. So much tension!

Mona Hatoum: http://www.thephotophore.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/mona_hatoum_002.jpg

Mona Hatoum: http://www.thephotophore.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/mona_hatoum_002.jpg

Really clever use of scale.

http://www.caregiverexchange.ca/Uploads/Blog/331_dealing-with-conflicting-emotions.png

http://www.caregiverexchange.ca/Uploads/Blog/331_dealing-with-conflicting-emotions.png

This one looks like a stock photo – I wouldn’t say there is particularly an artistic touch, but it’s an interesting idea of showing emotions.

Jakub Kujawa: http://justimagine-ddoc.com/wp-content/gallery/time-and-emotions/jacub-kubawa-01.jpg

Jakub Kujawa: http://cdn.emptykingdom.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Jakub-Kujawa_web30.jpg

Jakub Kujawa: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e7/27/1d/e7271dee39c258dceee3138bdab9939a.jpg

These drawings by Jakub Kujawa have incredible tension and dynamics. The movement, the shading, the cross hatching.

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  • 22 January 2017
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