In the seventeenth century, Isaac Newton used a prism to dissect a ray of light, as it were, in color. He converted his light spectrum from red to violet into a color circle. In her series ‘Monochromes’ (2016-2017), Cristina Lucas adds gray, brown and black to the colors of the Newtonian rainbow. In doing so, she tackles a classic issue in art, that of the perception of color.
Kandinsky, representative of the early twentieth century avant-garde, assumed that every color speaks its own language, has its own expression and that in every color houses a form and a soul. According to Kandinsky, the relationship between color and form, with their mutual dependence, played a crucial role in generating an aesthetic experience in which the spiritual was central. For Kandinsky, as for the other avant-garde artists, improving the world and human condition was the goal of art.
What happens to color and the aesthetic experience, now that colors are being hijacked by companies that relinquish their profit-oriented marketing strategies? A good logo is synonymous with the identity of a company and the color of that logo represents a ‘value’, or rather an ‘atmosphere’. For example, red suggests energy and dynamism and the experience of nature is linked to the color green.
In the series ‘Monochromes’, Lucas analyzes and classifies the language of colors that she has derived from daily life. It does this by collecting and sorting the color of thousands of logos of companies as they see around them or on the internet. Something similar happens in the series ‘True Truths’: these are ‘exercises’ with geometric shapes, based on geometric axioms, in which the interpretation of the image is guided by concepts that refer to emotions and attitudes as described in theories from psychology. In fact, in these layered works Luke shows us the revised codes that can be used to decipher the aesthetic elements of our surrounding reality. The spectrum of our reality is brought to the surface, as it were, through colorful digital brush strokes. They arise from our reality, and they lead us to the true meaning of color and form as we connect it to a contemporary subject. The equally disconcerting and touching conclusion to seeing the works of Luke is: these colors, this orange, that is us!
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