According to Professor Albert Mehrabian’s model of communication 55% of communication comes from the physicality of body language, facial expression etc.
Conveying a message is what art is all about and therefore portraiture becomes about reflecting a mood or thought through minor tweaks of the features.
This piece reflects the outward emotion of the subject (boyfriend Matt!) looking straight at you. To his right is his inner darkness/the devil on his shoulder who is omnipresent and always sending out his perspective (shown by the waves in the background). The angle of the faces also reflects the moods in that happy Matt looks forwards in an honest and open manner and dark Matt is angled to the side with narrowed eyes.
There’s always a side, or an emotion in people behind what you can physically see, so I would contest Mehrabian’s model as some of communication is a falsehood or cover up for the inside voice…..
Below are the photos are used for inspo next to the piece, in case you’re curious