In Color We Trust: Patrick Alston

10 September - 30 October 2022

Humans have historically used color as a symbolic approach toward setting meanings, boundaries, and structure to our social composition. It has molded our perception of nature, music, concepts, architecture, geography, and of course, ourselves. By doing so, the result is a categorization and division of people, setting ourselves up to indiscriminately assume what and who we think we are according to how much light falls upon a surface. We use colors to represent our diverse ideologies; dividing ourselves into collectives of whom we consider to be like-minded individuals. But what would happen if we were to take our preconceived historical notions and our socialized internal responses to color and allow ourselves to see it in its purest form?

In Color We Trust, Patrick Alston asks: Does color hold the possibility of true freedom in its depths? Can we challenge our perception of color and our impulse to set certain values to specific tones? He questions the relationship colors have to each other and us. The way we set emotional, ideological, and historical significance to colors as a way of making judgments and navigating our social life. Alston challenges us to attempt to understand that colors, in their purest form, can be free from any preconceived notions society has placed on them. That we set the stage to trust that color is enough of a subject matter to stand on its own, unboxed and untethered to our need to impose our individual and collective judgments on an element of life that in fact has no boundaries.