Opera Rose is an electric pink acrylic paint and the collective eponymous title of these new works at A Brooks Art. This collection of works installed in this former Victorian florist and fruiterer now a gallery in Hoxton Street London is a site-specific response to this regenerated space.
Vibrant colours are seemingly de-valued as non-serious, frivolous: artists tend to approach bright colours with caution; the monochrome is a method for conveying gravitas. These works of colour for Opera Rose are kindled from my love of the “strongly exaggerated” and the “off,” of things-being-what-they-are-not” Susan Sontag.
These paintings are unexpected. They are created with a sincere and deliberate misuse of paint. They question the paint’s function, yet the process is generated from the potential of the medium. They represent a metamorphosis – from a two dimensional backdrop to grand gestures in the three dimensional. They are abstract and complex investigations into colour, light and form within a space but are intended at the same time to be celebratory.
When I presented this colour to other artists, there seemed to be a continuous streak of prejudice against it, of its “chemical” appearance, of its “loudness” and I was given practical advice on how to tame it – “you can use this pink by putting it with a soft brown or mauve to balance it out” – dull colours could be used to control its vibrancy – I didn’t want to do that. David Batchelor in his book Chromophobia describes a “fall into colour”. I think I have fallen.