Where to Put the Yellow?

 

The primary colors are important. Yellow is like a key. All colors have identity. Gangsters in LA, for example, have taken up the colors as their own and have not left any good colors for new gangs to come along. The two great primaries red and blue are strong.

Red Chair Blue Chair

150 x 150cm acrylic on panel

Yellow is the sun and is life. The foot of the red faced man in Red Chair Blue Chair is a stomp of non-sequitor in a conversation he is having with the woman and it has nothing to do with yellow. Yellow slices through a static scene from his foot to the yellow abstract bulb in the ceiling. It brings in life and movement.

The unimportant yellow thing on the bright orange table in Livingroom Group gives the foreground a life it would lose to the literal light pouring in through the windows at the back of the painting. Yellow as iconic and full of meaning is different than yellow when it figuratively represents light. Both are weighty.  The bright unreal orange of the table reminds us the viewer that we are in a painting and justifies such a jolt of yellow.

Livingroom Group

124 x 84cm acrylic on canvas

Paint must go beyond literal description of the everyday. The most prominent figure at the table is flattened and squashed as paint would be and is in the beginning stages of distortion and unreality. Unreality is an artist's powerful prerogative, because color and paint are real too and they must be manipulated.  Red Chair Blue Chair mixes the literal with the language of paint speaking in loud color or strange perspective or flattened spaces.

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