“About face” can be literal and refer to people’s faces or self-portraits. Of course, artists interpret how they portray faces very differently: realistic, fractured, romantic, blank, colorfully expressive; tormented, etc.
But even interpreted literally, “about face” does not have to refer to human faces- there are animal faces, clock faces, facing pages in a book. “About face” can refer to crowds or that one special face in the crowd. It can refer to the image in the mirror or the person “putting on her face”. It also can be about a symbol: the face of American as represented by our President. The expression can be even broader, like “face time” or “face facts” or “face book”.
In the military, an officer may shout a command: “About face”. That refers to changing directions. So “about face” can be about sudden changes in ideas, thoughts, attitudes, point of view; approaches or styles.
In other words, this theme is very broad.
View the online exhibition here.