Welcome to The Face Zone.

Each of us sees through a different lens. The same artwork can be a masterpiece or mud depending on the museumgoer. A referee's call is often disputed by the other team. Where seventeenth-century military engineers envisioned coiled metal as a way to dislodge bullets, vintners saw a corkscrew―such disparate applications, war and winemaking!

Eight billion points of view and growing.

The Face Zone  is my point of view: a creative space where I reflect on inner and outer worlds, a place where I imagine, draw, and write about it. The resulting pieces could be flashes from fantastical narratives for which you must construct the plot. They could be metaphors. Could be puzzles. Jokes. Commentaries. Commands. Questions. Visions. What connects them is that they all begin with some kind of captioned "face" to prompt reaction and thought.

As much as the material is a window into my worldview, it's also a mirror reflecting yours, as your particular combination of experiences, values, and beliefs influences the meaning that you take away. Though some of our associations may overlap, they don't have to. The point is to set mind in motion. Toward what and to what end is for you to decide, but enjoy the sights along the way: surreal daydreams to trip your imagination...

Martin Graff is an artist, author, spoken-word performer, pianist, and extreme-chin-beard enthusiast living in Northern Virginia. He imagines and illustrates faces―human, animal, alien, abstract―and adds poetic prose to associate with each.

"It started in childhood. To amuse the five-year-old me, my father drew a face on the inside bottom of a large water thermos that he used for tennis. When you looked into the empty container, you could see a deep, swollen, horizontal slit at the end where the halves of the plastic mold came together.  With a long pencil, Dad drew two black circles above the slit, now a "mouth," and my imagination was triggered: the resulting expression was weird, cute, and mildly foreboding all at once. That simple, neutral water bottle became a sentient oddity for which to compose a strange and entertaining backstory."

He's been at it ever since, finding unexpected narratives and messages in the ordinary details around him.

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