“Ladies Anonymous”
By Lorraine Link

The air crackles with nervous energy this month inside Empire of America in Deland, for on display, much larger than life, is Kristin H. Eyfells’ “Ladies Anonymous,” an exhibition of  facial close-ups unlike any you have ever seen.
Saturated with character and seductiveness, the “Ladies Anonymous” beckon from canvases that seem barely able to contain them.

Rather a self-styled eccentric in that oh-so-traditional world of portraiture, Eyfells presents incisive portrayals, the intimate ferocity of emotions encased in rainbow-rich colors. Following the initial impact, which is bound to halt anyone entering the bank, we become aware of a moment suspended.

These faces are both masked and bared to the soul. There is a frankness here, an openness, and yet a posturing that could cover anger, fear or loneliness, like the madness that sometimes hides behind good manners. They pose and watch simultaneously, a characteristic that may become unnerving to some who recognize more than they care to.

These seven females, caught in moments when thoughts surface and color explodes, leave the subject revealed without sentimentality. Eyfells catches them and they cannot escape her psychological astuteness – she holds a degree in psychology as well as art – which she translates into light, shadow, lines, vibrant blues, fiery oranges, and intense greens.

Kristin Halldorsdottir Eyfells, who lived most of her life in her native Iceland, arrived at this point in her career through a circuitous route that included many years as a highly successful international fashion designer and recognized sculptor. While she has been painting and exhibiting her “faces” for more than a decade, here earlier works had a heaviness that has been shed through the years. Light creeps into her new work to dance with the colors, and a certain refined simplicity underscores the careful and masterful execution.

The openness implied in Kristin’s “Ladies Anonymous” contrasts with anonymity. Unlike her paintings of personalities we would recognize – which include Audrey Hepburn, Lillian Hellman and Ronald Reagan – these paintings stand forth alone, representative of a certain cultural heroine, untouchable and unattainable, and yet one who seems close, near, and vaguely familiar. They are perhaps the women we see in the magazines or on television, the ones we would like to know, the ones who seem to have it all – if only they were here, in only they were real.

 “Ladies Anonymous,” the first public exhibition of these masterful works, is provided by Empire of America in Deland, as part of its on-going commitment to bring high-impact original art to central Florida.