The Opposite of Color

Black Tulips 16X20

While this picture is about contrast, it goes beyond the physical contrast of the black and the red; this is the startling contrast of a spring garden in a dark, almost menacing context.  The ability of an image to carry such divergent tones makes us look at it longer; it has a disturbing effect on a much deeper level than simple imagery – and that’s its mystique.  Why is it so appealing and repellant at the same time?

While I have heard different reactions to this image, the controversial opinions it has stirred have helped make it one of the most purchased pieces I have hung.  From a design level, it obviously offers color to steel or grey or black & white interiors.  From an artistic level, it suggests beauty from decay, life out of darkness or simply color from monotony.

In the art of photography, light is the source of the art we can make. No light, no picture.  Layers of photographic “light” compile in successive layers of lightness or lack of color, finally producing white.  In contrast, to print a photo, or any image, it is a process of imprinting layers upon layers of color which could become so opaque as to be considered black.  In both respects, white and black both contain all colors.  Another contrast.

I hope the contrast of this composition makes it bring more light.

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