One of the most wonderful things an artist can receive is inspiration.
Recently, I was inspired to begin a piece of work titled Skin Color. The inspiration came from a container of peachy pale ink I noticed while cleaning up after a printing session. This container was labeled skin color, but I did not see myself in that color.
A label so broad for a color so narrow.
And so the conversation began.
What is my skin color? Where do I see it? How do I acknowledge it? Do I acknowledge it? If not why not?
I began by mixing a series of different colors, including my own, that I felt better represented the spectrum of skin color. The thousands of souls represented in a two word phrase.
With these 12 or 13 jars of skin color I went out to converse, to interact, to experience.
Pick a jar, any jar.
Well no not really. Pick your jar.
Which one looks like you? Is it too blush or too bronze? Is it the same as your friend or different?
Is it summer you or winter?
We laughed. We compared. We acknowledged.
Dozens of us, breaking the boundaries between strangers. Fighting the distrust off with broad smiles and camera clicks.
And so it began. An idea for a project that could change things, would change things.
This was just the first phase. A chance to see if others would feel like I felt. A chance to make sure they didn’t feel like I felt.
Proof of concept.