Around the beginning of autumn last year, my friend Ismini came over to taste my almost failed Tiramisù experiment. That is when she saw some of my paintings around the flat. Why don’t I exhibit them, she asked. That question never crossed my mind. It was outside of my reach. But she made it seem so easy. Find a space in London, hire it, set up an eventbrite and spread the word. So I went for it. The logistics were relatively straightforward. All I had to do is think about the theme. And I chose yellow, Ismini’s favorite color.
What is yellow?
Yellow is normally considered the colour of energy and positives. It is the colour of the sun, of light. The colour of a happy face. No wonder the social media’s most popular emojis are yellow.
Tae Yun Kim in “The First Element: Secrets to Maximising Your Energy” states that yellow has an energetic vibration that brings about energy and “promotes a clear state of mind”.
Yellow is a primary colour, either along with red and blue, or cyan and magenta. Which means that combining other colors cannot create yellow. It is the definition of purity outside white.
Historically, yellow has been used to describe outcast originality and avant-garde thinking. The Yellow Nineties or the Yellow Book was a quarterly journal/magazine in the late 1890s in Britain containing anything from poetry to short stories and paintings steering towards radicalism. The magazine was trying to bring about a shock factor.
Yellow Journalism, or the yellow press, coined at about the same time in the USA, is a concept that lives on to the present day. Yellow Journalism focuses on the sensational aspect of a news story as opposed to reporting the actual facts. The idea was to sell more papers by making them scandalous and memorable.
The more recent Panama Papers, dubbed as the biggest leak in history, has chosen yellow as its brand colour. Not too different from what yellow has built over the years: avant-garde, sensationalism and memorability.
The most famous and the very free Yellow Pages is full of advertisement. It is supposed to help us find local businesses all in one place. What makes it different from the general marketing material is that those who look into it are actually looking for something quite specific. So a company can differentiate itself on the Yellow Pages only by accessing some sort of shocking factor, because their ad would be listed on the same page with other similar companies in the area.
The place where I feel most overwhelmed and surrounded by yellow is on the streets and in public transportation. Almost everything is yellow. Danger! Warning! Advanced Warning! Parking Suspended! Detour! Road ahead closed! Please do not cross the yellow line, train approaches! Danger of death! Caution wet floor!
In theory yellow is a positive vibration, in practice, seems to be the brand colour of the cautionary tale. Yellow became aggressive, and almost too alertive. Now, every time you turn and see yellow, your body is so used to associate it with danger that you startle a bit. What is it that I cannot do or should be cautious about now? Your subconscious might think. Yellow is the highlight of our commute, pun intended.
A crazy yellow theory?
I have a confession. I watch romantic comedies while I paint. I’ll write in another post about that. But as I was thinking about yellow, painting with yellow and watching these chick flicks, it occurred to me. Our hearts get broken and fixed, we fall in and out of love, some of these movies are quite close to reality although exaggerated on the
sensational aspects. This is nothing new. But would it not be great if we had some danger signs in our romantic journeys? And I took it upon me to make the signs.
I present to you, the collection of paintings that will be exhibited in my first solo gallery combining the theme of yellow and our love journeys in a crazy yellow theory. If you would like to see them live or buy any with an autograph, RSVP and come to Lacey Contemporary Art Gallery on 15-16 July 2016.