Marci Washington’s figures wear expressions that range from viciously sardonic to strangely blank and closed to interpretation. The postures of Marci’s figures complete the depths of their expression. For example, in the above painting the figure seems haughty, brash and unreasonable indicated by, an arm flung over the back of a chair and legs sprawled out recklessly. “In The Drawing Room” depicts a character whose shoulders are narrowed with arms pinned to his sides. Is it self restraint or someone who feels small against the bleak sky on the other side of the window pane? With a shielding arm across her midsection, the figure in “Escape Into The Woods” displays a protective gesture that is even more telling about her possible trauma than the mysterious black fluid that her body expels.
Plush, ornate carpets and fancy furnishings give way to bleak landscapes with blank starless skies. These pieces are pulled together in a silent and extraordinary narrative due to the continuity of both the interior spaces and the desolate night exteriors.
The figures are handled in a beautifully simple method that demonstrates a flatness that is so well cultivated by Marci. There is an absolute elegance to the individuals portrayed which makes obvious the artist’s understanding of physical proportions and stylistic choices made with the figure, such as the fingers which end in tapered points making the hands incredibly decorative instead of functional.