Greys, or Grays if you prefer the more Wildish alternative, are absolutely fascinating to me. It still seems that when people refer to color, they make allusion to saturated color or the purity of a pigment; consequently when looking at greys they unconsciously view them as the absence of such clarity. Greyness could be hurridly assumed as a flawed endeavor. It appears to be perceived as a failed attempt of the artist at trying to achieve a certain color while his mind, as well as his palette became muddled in the process.
And while contemporary technology has enabled the creation of sometimes grossly saturated synthetic colors that dazzle the eyes and minds of viewers alike, the truth is our world is greyer. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the streets we walk on, the trash we collect, all make up a world which is a little muter.
It would be almost impossible for an artist to not be attracted by the subtle coloring of greys. Bluish greys, purplish greys, reddish greys, they are a most a welcome sedative. Still, there’s a misconception in people’s minds where a grey tone is achieved by a simple mixture of black and white. A deeper investigation would lead a person to inquire as to which black was used. Was it a warm, rich and velvety black or a cool and more opaque black? The delicate hues that can be achieved through a conscious effort in mixing greys are as varied and as exciting as any pure, bright color.
So here are a few of the artists that bask in impurity, making masterful musings of mud.
Long live the lurking but luring lull of lethargic limelight!
(ok.. .enough with the alliterations and let’s give credit to Justin Mortimer, Victor Man, Ruprecht von Kaufmann, Sangram Majumdar, Adrian Ghenie, Sophie Jodoin and Michael Kareken).