Color in the crevices

Color doesn’t have to be poured out by the gallon to create a sense of joy. In fact, it’s often better in small doses, as in these works by Ethan Greenbaum. When people say “good fences make good neighbors,” maybe this is what they have in mind.

There’s also a human equivalent. I’ve featured in the past the kooky performance art of Companie Willi Dorner, a troupe of artists who wear brightly colored clothes and then squeeze themselves into tight urban spaces. I recently came across these images, which I hadn’t seen before, of a performance they did in New York last year.

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Against a field of grey, color means more. It is a spark of something that has its own energy, something dynamic that has the potential to erupt, to bring more color. As Johannes Itten, father of contemporary color theory, put it: “Color is life: for a world without colors appears to us as dead.” Color, even in tiny doses, signals a desire for life.

Images: Ethan Greenbaum via the artist. Companie Willi Dorner via WSJ.

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