In my last post I briefly touched on the subject of how colors tend to confuse me. Colors, especially combined with bright sunlight and hard shadows can cause me to momentarily lose my equilibrium, so when I’m walking outside on a sunny day, I always choose the shadowy side of the street. Much like the flickers of a strobe light, there’s something about the rapidly changing impressions of colors and light/shadows, which are so significant to NYC because of the tall buildings, that makes me uncomfortable. My eyes are very sensitive to light in general, which prompts a need to wear sunglasses even when it’s overcast (The added bonus being that I can observe people without them knowing, ideal for subway kill-time).
Entering teenage-hood I went goth. Black hair, black clothes, black make-up, black everything. In fact, I was dubbed Sorte-Signe (Black-Signe), which I guess was a natural consequence, and I didn’t mind. In those transitioning years we all seek ways to be different and stand out, especially when growing up in a small town that by its very nature felt confined and unwelcoming of anything unconventional, and I took a proud ownership of the nickname. In my twenties I rebelled against myself and went in the complete opposite direction, going back to blonde, experimenting with colored clothing, and ended up having an all-white period for a while.
Later in life, I found myself gravitating toward the grayscale again. The dark colors provide a sense of security, a shield if you will, a way to keep strangers at arm’s length. Not that I in any way wish to appear hostile or uninviting, but they serve as a way to cover up the shyness and awkwardness that can sometimes overwhelm me when in the presence of people unfamiliar to me.
Luckily I live in NYC, where the all-black uniform is not uncommon, and is celebrated by not only I. However, when I travel to other regions, like LA, it suddenly becomes very apparent, and has more than once been pointed out by my travel companions: “Jeezz, you look sooo New York! Put on some colors, for crying out loud!” Truth is, I would love to be one of those people who feel comfortable in multi-toned outfits, and maybe someday I’ll want to venture onto that path again…
I first started to really think about this personality trait a few years back, when asked to design a personalized sneaker for a campaign. The gist was to create the shoe and then chat about the thought process behind the choices I had made. There I was, staring myself blind at the myriad of colors to pick from, and I tried to apply them to the shoe. I really did. Alas, I ended up with a black sneaker accentuated with gray and white splashes, and it became pretty clear that, okay, this is beyond my control, apparently. I need to visually organize the world around me, subdue all the interrupting elements, and create a non-threatening environment for myself. Too many bright colors create chaos, and chaos makes my brain hurt. Ironic, really, because I recently found out that I probably have synesthesia, which makes my brain assign different color combinations to numbers, music, and sometimes letters, in order for me to be able to recognize and process them. But that’s a whole other story…
Every other year the large-scale FoodPhoto Festival is held in Vejle, Denmark, this years on May 18-21. It’s a truly impressive event that sadly I won’t be able to attend, but if you find yourself around those parts I’ll strongly recommend you go check it out.
Last time - for the exhibition - I entered a selection of work that had already been published. This time around, I wanted to take the opportunity to bring to life a project that I had been contemplating for a long time. I wanted to create a series of black/white color photographs, and allied myself with a trusted group of chef-friends to help me carry it out. The only direction they were given was to create one all-black dish, and one all-white dish. They would then be photographed on black/white plate ware and ditto backgrounds. I’m truly amazed to see how differently each of the chefs approached the task, yet how uniform the result looks as a whole. I’m so pleased to see their style and personality reflected in the plates, and I knew from the beginning that these five geniuses would get it. Because they get me.