ARTISTS' COLOR

 

The Artists’ Color series contemplates the relationship between artist, medium and product – and thus the very nature of art itself. It is a parody of parodies, which of course makes it a tribute as well, with no small irony.

TARANTINO RED

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
31" x 12" x 8"

The quote from Quentin (Tarantino Red) says it all: "When Fred Astaire dances, it doesn’t mean anything. Violence is the same. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s a color."

 

GRANDMA'S FRIDGE

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
37" x 12" x 8"

A tribute to childhood memories (for a few generations, at least) and Grandma Moses, a folk artist whose success came late in life.

"If you know somethin' well, you can always paint it but people would be better off buyin' chickens."

 

CARBON BLACK

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
37" x 12" x 8"

M.C. Escher (Carbon Black) combined masterful technique and humor to great effect, often creating stunning visual paradoxes.

"My work is a game, a very serious game." 

 

4C PROCESS

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
58" x 18" x 12"

It’s no mystery that most color printing utilizes the 4 Color Process. What is a mystery is how enlarged comic book images are considered high art. Art critic Max Kozloff didn’t understand either, and he took Roy to task: “All that really counts any more are the contexts and intentions, not the execution and the results.” The numeric code on the tube spells ‘Kozlof’.

 

BURGUNDY RED

2016, metal, polymer, pigment, cork
49" x  18" x 12"

“Sometimes when you're drunk you can see better.” Burgundy Red may help explain an extensive variety of half-animals in formaldehyde. The numeric code on the tube spells ‘Hirst’ for Damien Hirst, author of the quote (and the half-animals).

 

AGENT ORANGE

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
47" x 18" x 12"

Whatever you do, don’t open up that tube of Agent Orange. Vincent Van Gogh (“There is no blue without yellow and without orange”) seemed to have found the practice of art (or was it life?) somewhat toxic, as have many others since, though most not so overtly. The numeric code on the tube spells ‘VanGogh’.

 

SUNBURN RED,

SUNBLOCK WHITE
 

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
diptych - 55" x 42" x 12"

Sunburn Red is an occupational hazard for sun worshipers and plein air painters alike. For Claude Monet, who used the newly-invented paint tube to great effect in studying the ever-changing color effects of natural light, “color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” The numeric code on the tube spells ‘Monet’.

Sunblock White may help prevent sunburn, but only if applied liberally. Sol LeWitt’s dry wit is perfectly captured by his quote “Minimalism wasn't a real idea – it ended before it started.” That LeWitt was one of the founders of minimalism makes it all the more delicious. The numeric code spells 'LeWitt'.

 

HAMPTONS GOLD

2016, metal, polymer, pigment, stone
55" x 18" x 12"

One would imagine that Hamptons Gold is Donald Trump’s favorite color. But for some reason the Hamptons have been spared, at least from him. The "art of the deal" however thrives here, and the art of separating a gazillionaire from his dough is indeed a fine art. “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” The numeric code on the tube spells ‘bling’.

 

TOMATO RED

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
54" x 19" x 12"

The obvious parody of Tomato Red needs no explanation. The quote “a first rate soup is better than a second rate painting” is from Abraham Maslow, who also coined the phrase “if your only tool is a hammer, every problem tends to look like a nail”. The numeric code on the tube spells ‘bad art’.

 

LIPSTICK RED

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
54" x 18" x 12" 

The art of makeup – or to be more precise, the art of selling makeup – is immortalized in Max Factor’s quote on Lipstick Red, “You are not born glamorous, glamor is created.” The numeric code on the tube spells ‘Factor’. 

 

PRIMARY COLORS

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
55" x 19" x 12"

While Primary Colors appears overtly political, right down to George Carlin’s quote “it’s called the American dream ‘cause you have to be asleep to believe it”, it actually poses a question: is art something that can simply be squeezed out of tube, like Jasper John’s persistent repetition of flag paintings (which, with historical hindsight, seem somewhat jingoistic)? The numeric code stamped into the tube spells ‘Carlin’.

 

TRUE GREEN

2016, metal, polymer, paper, pigment
54" x 19" x 12"

Alas. It has been proven repeatedly, time and time and time again, from the Great Bailout(s) to O.J. Simpson: True Green is the only color that really matters. The numeric code stamped into the tube is the zip code of the most expensive real estate in the US – Sagaponack, NY.

 

SOFT WHITE

2016, metal, polymer, fabric, pigment
54" x 19" x 12"

"No, it’s not sausage." It’s Soft White, a tribute to Claes Oldenburg. One of his early sculptures was made from a woman’s stocking stuffed with newspaper. Originally untitled, it is now referred to as "Sausage". The numeric code on the tube spells ‘Claes’.

 

BLOOD RED

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
28" x  9" x 6"

Misery is one of the most reliable sources of profit – as long as it is someone else’s misery, of course. This philosophy – the art of making money - is immortalized on Blood Red with John D. Rockefeller’s infamous quote: “the way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.” 

 

KNIGHT BLACK

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
56" x 19" x 12"

In reference to his role as the indomitable Black Knight (Knight Black) in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, John Cleese tells a story about Roman wrestlers engaged in a long, grueling match in which both were so exhausted that eventually they were just holding each other up. One quit, walked away, and lost by forfeit. The other, who was dead, won posthumously by default. Thus the quote “If you don’t give up you can’t possibly lose”, which is at best a most dubious philosophy. The numeric code stamped into the tube spells ‘Cleese’.

 

PRIMARY RED,

YELLOW, BLUE

2016, metal, polymer, pigment
triptych - 36" x 48" x 8"

Primary Colors (Primary Red, Primary Yellow, Primary Blue) only exist in theory. You can’t buy them; they are just models for describing the perception and behavior of color (and specifically pigment, in this case). Artists like to think that collectors of art do so based on quality – as noted in the list of ingredients – which like the idea of primary colors remains a nice theory.

 

IRON RED,

GAMMA GREEN

2015, metal, polymer, pigment
diptych - 56" x 42" x 12"