Face Value
FACE VALUE is a bold and risky experiment in exhibiting and selling original works of art.

It is also a playful way of asking people to consider the value they place on a work of art.
After leaving The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Henry John developed a risky experiment in exhibiting and selling his work. This project was called 'Face Value', a playful way of asking people to consider the role of portraiture and the monetary value they place on a work of art.

This novel approach evolved out of his preoccupation with painting faces, portraiture painted under his own terms. Art Critic Peter Davis explains the nature of these pictures:

"The faces depicted vary from anonymous sitters and friends to variations on old master portraits sittings. This ‘take’ on historical portraiture is ironic and has a postmodern ring to it. In each case John zooms in on the physiognomy, focusing on a fragment of the face, which has been reduced to simple lines or glazed areas of paint."

"John is dispatching 300 hand worked prints on A3+ sheets of excellent archival paper - high quality computer enhanced inkjet prints, doctored by further passages of watercolour painting – sent to 300 individuals who are asked to take a creative and democratic part in the project by naming their price for the privilege of keeping their allocated picture."

"John also gives a creative role to technology in the process of image formation. But the artist has the first and last say, the prints of 60 original watercolours in an edition of six copies subjected to a final watercolour finish by John. The whole process from start to finish involves technology, artistic improvisation and a novel use of distribution and market promotion that shows John far away from the ivory tower of complacency and fully abreast of the times in which we live. Without debasing the traditions and standards of the craft of painting John exploits modern tools in order to give his art enhanced relevance and street cred.”