Abstracts

Green cab, metallic, like the aluminium shine of children's toy racecars. Sun-yellow double-trailer with open tops, a dirt or rock mover probably. Rain-streaked, dust-splashed, creating areas of subtle color combination, sometimes muted, sometimes vibrant. As it passes the road itself seems momentarily brighter.

Gray concrete, boxlike; minimal industrial design, all function, no shape. Yet someone has taken the trouble to paint the steam funnels glow-in-the-dark pink — wide, L-shaped, like smaller cousins of the huge funnels of a great steam ship — so that the building as a whole takes on the appearance of a brightly-colored Constructivist poster.

Candy-apple red Peterbuilt. Orange-and-rust trailer with a single word stencilled in white: "UNIGLORY."

Glorious, indeed.

People have a need for color. Keep an eye out as you encounter industrial artifacts, whether they be machinery or siding or loading dock doors. People paint them in bright shades, unutilitarian, seemingly at contrast with the mundane purposes for which they were built. There's no "economic" reason for this. People simply need color, and they decorate their drab environments in part to relieve their very mundanity.

What's in mind here is something like Robert Natkin's wonderful abstracts of highly textured color.

Click a thumbnail or use these links to see my gallery and print portfolio or the index for each color group: blue, red, green, pink, gray, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, brown, mixed. Slideshow below.

Books about color.


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