In the Big Dollhouse oil on panel 5x5” 2017
“Colour is uncontainable. It effortlessly reveals the limits of language and evades our best attempts to impose a rational order on it... To work with colour is to become acutely aware of the insufficiency of language and theory – which is both disturbing and pleasurable.” -David Batchelor
One of the jobs of artists is to help others become aware of color, and the effects of color. The color that I’ve gone down the rabbit hole with over the past six months is pink. Interestingly enough, staring at this color has been proven to physically weaken (even strong) men. Professor Alexander Schauss’s experiments of this nature are detailed further in Adam Alter’s book, Drunk Tank Pink. Alter goes on to detail how, upon making this discovery in 1979, that “soon, everything from day care centers and psychological wards to locker rooms for visiting football teams were painted with what came to be known as "drunk tank pink" — because it was also used by police stations for the holding cells where they put the drunks being held overnight.”
This reminds me of the Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s inmates all dressed in pink, as a form of humiliation and degradation. Funny that this is the accepted color for the female gender, or rather that the color (whatever it may be) holds such a specific type of power. I find it fascinating that the color sits in a particular hierarchy, that a worth is associated with a color and that the color is associated with a gender. Pink is so strongly correlated with ‘woman,’ is also strongly correlated with frivolity, passivity and weakness. What does this imply about women and society’s beliefs in their capabilities? In their value?
This line of inquiry both overwhelms and fascinates me and is an avenue that I’m investigating with my current bodies of work.
Ingrid Victoria Wells