I have created a new kind of face [...] I have drawn physiognomy way beyond Picasso, in completely new terms [...] I am the only artist who has taken it a step further.
(Y. Dalmia, Souza in London, New Delhi, 2004, p. 10)
The slashes, slits, and lacerations that scar the male heads in all four Souza works are a product of the stylistic innovation during the artist's sojourn in postwar London. A devastated cityscape plagued by smog, food shortages, and widespread discontent provided Souza the stimuli to experiment and achieve a new degree of candor and dynamism as a draughtsman. The men he renders have been stripped of all worldly affectations; they appear bare and brutal, confronting the viewer with large eyes and a piercing gaze. The artistic dialogue with the European modernists is tangible as is Souza's signature cynicism, which inspires his depictions of the hypocrisy and malice of mankind.