Over the past few weeks, X-Rite Pantone has profiled some of this year’s ArtPrize Seven artists who use color as a way to express their creativity and encourage viewers to think about art differently. If you are not from the Grand Rapids area, ArtPrize is an international art competition that spans 10 miles and includes over 1,500 artists. As a leadership sponsor, X-Rite is using this event to highlight the intersection of the art and science of color in our everyday lives.
Our last artist profile is Jose Carlos Casado. In fact, it was the vibrancy and color of his installation that drew Eddie Tadlock, DeVos Convention Center Assistant General Manager, to select Casado’s sculpture for display in his venue during ArtPrize Seven.
Casado uses color to deal with violent events. “Color is a powerful tool. It can express so many things, though for most people, especially when seeing a lot of them, it brings some kind of happiness or joy! I create art as a response to violent events. It is my own way to deal with things I don’t always understand, and the frustration this originates. But my responses are never to a particular single event, and it’s a personal response through my art that might or might not reach other people in the same way.”
Sacrifice.v02 (shown above) is a hanging sculpture that erupts in color, shape, and texture in an attempt to balance reality and illusion. It was inspired by violent images of war, the nature of truth in photography and media, and the eroticism of the body in movement. “My work has many layers – aesthetically it is very attractive, though most of the time is charged with political issues that are not joyful. I like using the colors as a starting point for difficult conversations.”
Casado’s ArtPrize Seven entry is part of a three dimensional series Casado started in 2010 under the title Sacrifice, which is based on a character he created using 3D technologies.
When creating a piece, ninety percent of Casado’s process is thinking and experimenting. Before he even starts the work, he has already considered every detail, and chosen the content, color, and materials because they help communicate what he wants to say. “Each piece comes to an end after a long process of research and experimentation. The result of choosing one material or color is the result of many tries until I get to a point where I am satisfied. Color is one of those tools, it’s a way of expressing.”
Color is a form of non-verbal communication – a way to express energy and feelings – and each color has meaning. What does it mean that Sacrifice.v.19 includes every color in the visible spectrum? To name a few…
- The color red exudes power and motivates people to act on their emotions. Like the red hearts of Valentine’s day, it’s often associated with love, but too much can unsettle our emotions and lead to anger.
- Orange emanates warmth and offers emotional strength. It helps motivate us and keep us optimistic even during difficult times. It also fosters competition and promotes risk taking.
- Yellow inspires thought and curiosity. It inspires enthusiasm for life and encourages us to feel optimistic and happy.
- Green is the color of harmony and psychologically can help us balance our emotions. Earthy and lush, green helps us release stress and get back to a balanced state of mind.
- Blue stands for honesty, trust, peace and freedom. It portrays inner confidence and the security to communicate honestly.
- Purple is calming and spiritual. It encourages us to get in touch with our feelings and ponder the meaning of life. It also represents the future.
- Black is secretive and mysterious. It helps us hide from the world and shelter our feelings and insecurities.
When shown together in different shades and variations of light to dark, these colors truly portray the confusion Casado is feeling.
Casado’s work occupies space in 2D, 3D and often times in a virtual space. He also works with many different mediums, from photography, drawing, and painting to installation video, 3D and augmented reality. “The medium is not that important to me. It is the best way I find to express whatever I want to talk about.” For Sacrifice, the colorful texture originated with macro photos of human skin. He then used 3D software to transform the images into abstract shapes and colors without losing the reality of human form and skin.
Not everyone sees the darker side in Casado’s work. “Some people see my figures as monsters, some as coral or landscapes. I believe the colors especially help the ones who think about nature when seeing this work. Colors, nature and happiness are related in a straight line of thought. I don’t like giving a lot of tips about the meanings; that opens the artwork to infinite ways of feeling it. Every viewer, when experiencing art, has the option to really explore the work or just see the surface and move on. That is the beauty of art, it is flexible enough to accommodate any viewer.”
To see more of Jose’s art, visit josecaroscasado.com.