VIDEO: The Artist Ian McKeever on The Capacity of Paint to be Transcendental

Go on. Pick a color. Any color. Can you see it? Or does it present to you as an object? An orange? Do you give it shape? Expect it to have form? Possibly a function? It’s hard to think “pink”. Do you see the ribbon that signifies the fight to find a cure for breast cancer? Or pussy hats at the Women’s March in Washington?

“How often do you look at color?” Ian McKeever asks, “Get into a color?” He says, “it’s color expressing itself that McKeever eludes us” and he speaks of “the capacity of paint to be transcendental.” For paint has a life. He is fascinated by the physicality of it and uses words like “crispness” and “delicosity” and expresses concern about the ubiquitousness of color. He explains that everything has color – which in past ages, it didn’t.

Ian McKeever on colour usage and media | Winsor & Newton and the Royal Academy of Arts

Artist Ian McKeever discusses his lifetime’s experience with paint, its history and its unique qualities.

The result is that we don’t always “see” colors. We see objects that have color. Perhaps not seeing color unless we are looking for a good orange at the supermarket is something we should consider. If we don’t get into color as Ian McKeever encourages us to, what else do we not “get into”? What are we missing that we can’t name because we don’t know? In the time of massive upheavals, of step changes, and of epoch changes, perhaps we should stop and wonder about this and perhaps it will take us in a different direction or even help us pull back away from the colorlessness of the abyss.

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