I Might Have Brought This On Myself:
Family resemblance can be screamingly obvious to the unrelated. In the abstract, I know that our kids look like me, but I find it easier to see their resemblance to their father. And it is even easier for me to spot the same mouth and earlobes on a stranger and her son sitting across from me on a subway train.
But oddly enough, it seems that everyone unconsciously looks at others through the filter of their family. I’ve noticed when teaching drawing and portraiture in sculpture that at some level all artists seem inclined to draw or sculpt themselves. My hypothesis is that it’s not so much that everyone is familiar with the shape of their own head, but that perhaps they are familiar with the shape of the heads they looked at early and often while growing up.
There is clinical evidence that our brains need to be trained to see a particular sort of face in the same way that they are trained to speak a particular language. Infants arrive in the world ready to learn any language and recognize any kind of face, (including animals) but specialize in the kind that they live with and lose the skills for the others.
We each look at the world through our own particular filter, but it’s so baked in that it is hard to see it.
This drawing ended up more disturbing than anticipated. My apologies to our sons.