Masters of Color and contrast within contemporary art                - Ryan Louper


This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.

This gallery includes representations of spiritual and social constructs through explosive color balance and vivid imagery contrast.  Within the pieces included in this gallery, one realizes aspects of internal balance and storytelling through contrast as well as levels of chromotherapy.  (Chromotherapy is defined as the science of utilizing colors in order to balance and adjust body's vibratory rate to matched frequencies of health and harmony; in this case, even spiritual and societal understandings.)

Ghetto, Charles Ngatia, From the collection of: GoDown Arts Centre
Ngatia's moving piece "Ghetto" depicts the essence of the underprivileged areas of Nairobi, Kenya and unites the realism of ghettos around the world through empathizing color patterns and blatant symbolism. Water sweeps through the ghetto, depicting the illusion of movement and an economically drowning sensation which sweeps residents of ghettos around the world while powerful contrasting colors show the resilient vibrancy of the neighborhood spirit.
Zodiac, Somphong Adulyasarapan, 2006, From the collection of: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA BANGKOK)
Here we see a wonderful use of the variety principal of design. Adulyasarapan can be considered the Salvador Dali of Thailand and "Zodiac" purely exemplifies this fact. Elements of astrological functioning are depicted through each paralleling image of the tear-drop colored zodiac flowing through the image of the open eye. The characters of the zodiac are transferring into a three-dimensional reality as if each astrological characteristic is being reborn into their next life experience. The next life experience is depicted with contrasting earth tones and an ironically paralleling light blue lake; suggesting the center-point of life.
The Silk Merchant, Japan, Robert Frederick Blum (American, b.1857, d.1903), 1892, From the collection of: Cincinnati Art Museum
Blum's "The Silk Merchant" is oil on canvas where the viewer is directed toward an emphasis of the silk merchants set within the center through an influx of color and contrasting line patterns. The vibrant colors become increasingly consistent as the eye moves toward the centered subjects; showing the importance of Blum's impressions from Japanese culture. There is an interesting use of proportion through the floorboards and hanging silk that balances Blum's purposeful flattening of the piece.
The blue-complexioned Kali slaying demons, Unknown, Pahari School, 1825/1850, From the collection of: Academy of Fine Arts and Literature
"The blue-complexioned Kali slaying demons" stands as another great example of the use of contrast through color coupled with emphasis and focus intended to draw the observer's eye promptly toward the image of Kali found in the center in blue. The color blue, subconsciously suggests a calming vibration, alleviating stress and anxiety. We immediately see a difference in size and color between Kali and the demons she is slaying. The color balance, itself, tells a story of the conquering of evil into the balance of harmony and peace.
Almost Due, Mary Ogembo, From the collection of: GoDown Arts Centre
Within Mary Ogembo's "Almost Due", we begin by subconsciously noticing the vibrant colors of yellow, green and red bouncing off one another. This color contrast speaks to Ogembo's signature association to the Pan-African colors to start this canvas' conversation. The heavy stabbing strokes of each color suggest movement as the pregnant woman is shown expecting and possibly pacing throughout the room with anxiousness.
Coffee Tembeza, Gloria Muthoka, From the collection of: GoDown Arts Centre
Tembeza's acrylic on canvas, "Coffee Tembeza", depicts the image of a man, thrown toward the frontal perception through the contrast of orange versus shades of green leaves, while he picks coffee beans. This piece tells the story of the process and cycle of completion. We further witness the powerful contrast as the still image stands offset behind the pattern of the leaves, showing distance and connection simultaneously.
Mama Plastic, Patrick Mukabi, From the collection of: GoDown Arts Centre
Mukabi provides a peek into the Kariokor Market in Kenya while capturing the scene of an every-day occurrence of women selling plastics in the streets. The swift, contrasting and colorful brush strokes of the rows of plastics show the night-time shadows in a refreshing way while holding a sense of unity and harmonic balance for the background as a whole. The woman sits in front of her merchandise awaiting sales in a posture suggesting a routine lifestyle. We notice Mukabi chose to contrast the woman in dark shadow while including her into both the background and foreground through a light layer of loose magenta strokes.
Painting with Light - Barcelona 4, Philippe Echaroux, 2013, From the collection of: Subagora
This is one of the most powerful uses of natural color contrasting against the use of projected light that I have ever witnessed. The intricate detail of the man with his hands pressed against his face plows out of the darkened backdrop of the forest and leans against the edge of the city skyline. The proportion of the image's placement is a major part of the scene's power. The photograph captures the man's emotion and sincerity as the cultivated light patterns bring emphasis to both the man, the city line and the sky at different points of reference.
Lord Ganesh, Bhajju Shyam, From the collection of: Academy of Fine Arts and Literature
Shayam's expression of Ganesh portrays Lord Ganesh as holding a trident and serpent while vibrant colors channel the painting's focus toward the rib-like lower half. The placement of opposing colors creates an overall symmetry for the balance of Ganesh. Ganesh's lower half being in focus suggests the fundamental principal which Ganesh spiritually symbolizes, being that he resides in the first chakra which governs the manifestation and expansion of primordial existence into our worldly reality.
Telepathy, Chalermchai Kositpipat, 1990, From the collection of: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA BANGKOK)
Within "Telepathy", Kositpipat depicts a scene of a young woman in direct communication with a god awaiting her desires. The faint use of color within the images of the god structure holding the young lady creates the image of the dream-like state of meditation which allows the telepathic communication to occur. This faded imagery is draped against the strong blue sky background separated by the city's partially illuminated skyline in yellow. For a piece to utilize a short number of primary colors, "Telepathy" succeeds at a colorful contrasting element of Asymmetrical balance throughout the image of the city.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
Google apps