I have always been amazed at how easy it is to see a face in what is really a random “pattern”. Clouds, tree bark, weird textile prints are just a few examples of where a “face” can be found.
Back in the mid-seventies, when I was attending Indiana University, an artist visited campus. (Well, probably a few artists over the years I was there, but I was only aware of one). I do not remember his name, but I do remember watching him do his thing in the hallway of the student union.
He had a table set up displaying a collection of recent drawings. They were very small, maybe three inches square and there was probably fifty of them. All but three or four were faces.
His schtick at the time was taking a small piece of paper, laying a couple of conte pencils on the paper, placing another sheet of paper on top, pressing his hand on the stack and rotating his hand. This resulted in some random marks on the paper. Then he would look at the random marks, see a picture and add a line, some definition, etc. to bring the picture out.
One can see why so much of his work turned out to be faces.
He did a demonstration while a group of students watched. He stacked up his paper and conte, rubbed it with his hand, and presented us with the raw “drawing”. I clearly saw a small stone cottage with a garden in front and a stone wall in front of the garden with a gate on the right and a path to the cottage door. He asked the opinion of the attractive girl standing next to me who saw, surprise, surprise, a face!
Today Althouse linked to Accidental Mysteries which has a post about a French artist who makes faces out of toilet paper tubes. I find them more impressive than the artist I saw at IU thirty some years ago, even if too many of them look like a George Bush.