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Optimism, Master of Fine Arts Show
 
May 2007, 7th Floor Gallery
MFA

Color swatches, though free, are a perfect example of the irresistibility of marketing.  The bright colors, “cute” scale, and charming text make these objects desirable.  People want to hold them, pick their favorite, and revel in the seemingly limitless choices.

 The stories cut out of these colorful strips are sequential illustrations of memories and imagined scenarios of human interaction.  The clarity of the narratives varies, holding the viewer, but allowing questions to remain.  Without detail, expression, or individuality, the silhouette is a form on which viewers may project their own memories and emotions.  Once this happens, the viewer (or shopper) possesses the object conceptually, prompting potential, literal possession (a sale).  The ability to manipulate the magnetized scenes and create new narratives offers yet another level of possession—that of collaborator. 

The employees who have named all of these hues are my unknowing collaborators.  They inventively and shrewdly create positive associations with the paint colors, reinforcing the idea that a beautiful, colorful home is a happy home.  The color names, with their optimistic and nostalgic overtones, have inspired the corresponding imagery.  My scenes alternately reinforce and belie this optimism.  The warmth of human connection is often tinged with tension, awkwardness, and banality.  Even in a society saturated with consumption, however, those awkwardly real moments may be what we live for.

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        All images Copyright 2013, Melanie Kehoss