Ode to the Human Face
by Frederick Franck
Seeing/Molding the Human Face as Meditation
In this compact, visually powerful book, author and artist Frederick Franck offers his contemplations on the mystery of the human face. Inspired by the rediscovery of a series of small clay faces, which he had molded and fired over the course of many years, Franck reflects on the deeper meaning of what it means to be truly human. Paired with texts from great wisdom teachers such as Hui Neng, Dogen, and Angelius Silesius, as well as Franck’s own words, each evocative, archetypal face conveys the frailties of the ego-driven personality as well as the eternal essence of that which lies hidden behind the mask. With a bold design featuring over forty striking black and white photographs by Luz Piedad Lopez, this book speaks clearly to the questions that have preoccupied many seekers over the centuries: Who am I? Who are you?
“Drawing, modeling faces, I seem to touch my model’s ancestral, even its pre-human, hominid past, that first hint of human Existence–of just being here, that Mystery of mysteries. Buddhism speaks in a minor key of Sunyata, Absolute Nothingness, an Emptiness, however, replete with potentialities, referred to in more positive terms as Tathata, Suchness.
“Behind each personality, each mask, there is the irreducible Reality of Sunyata, of that all-transcending Emptiness or Nothingness from which all that is emerges in its Being/Non-Being.”
—from Ode to the Human Face