Memory is a funny thing — when hearing a piece of music or getting the whiff of a smell can instantly transport you to back to another time and place in your life. We have all experienced it – and as we get older, the opportunities for these moments of sensory recall increase. What about color? Can a certain color, or more precisely a shade of a certain color, take you back? It happens to me – these moments of color recall. When I see a 1970s blue – you know, that true blue that is not so common today. I never drove black or silver cars. My vehicles were shades of orange and even purple. The modern architecture we now call brutalist is the cold gray of formed concrete associated with my formal education. Whenever I see that sad salmon color, I think of subway stations in Stockholm or wallpaper in Poland. I landed in San Francisco in 1990 – a city full of cafés with sponge painted walls (I confess even my kitchen succumbed to the trend for a few years). My local café never repainted for over 20 years. Bean There’s walls felt historic, though sadly the café was recently brought to end by a greedy landlord. The nightclub black, was it what we wore or the matte black paint that covered every surface back then? And when you end up working for an interior designer you learn they only have one color in the box. At least it wasn’t beige or taupe — I worked in a world of tasteful brown — just lots and lots of brown.
This week I have expressed those colors in a new series of ATCs that also, unintentionally, are a little color autobiography. They are now off in the mail.