Author: Petya Chalakova; Translation: Amy Chapman. Cover photo: Rada Yakova, Yellow, 2021
First published in https://sanusetsalvus.com/
The new auction of the online platform 5new is entirely dedicated to the very special color yellow. “Illumination” is associated with the symbolism that often in different cultures expresses our joy, happiness and attachment to light. This month’s five paintings by the 5new artists: Desislava Unger, Rada Yakova, Sasho Stoitzov, Slav Nedev and Philip Vencken reenforce this belief that the color yellow brings the feeling of sunrise, warmth of a sunny day and a spring fresh mood in our souls. The yellow theme is entirely inspired by the colorists at Pantone.com selection of Illuminating 13-0647 and nevertheless strives to show the diverse and rich world of yellow as a choice for our interior and exterior surroundings. We’d like to share these 5 techniques where art (and color) helps us to feel better:
According to the ancient Chinese art of harmonizing energy Qi – Feng Shui, colors always affect us at a strong individual level, having the ability not only to change our mood, but also to lead to real actions such as increased motivation, the desire to work.
It can also have the opposite effect of creating that soothing feeling of coziness and comfort. This superpower of all colors has been used in color therapy for years. Undoubtedly, colors are a strong source of energy and are also a good provocateur for one of our most developed senses – sight. Of course, it has been scientifically proven that everyone perceives the light spectrum in their own unique way, but for some of the colors (and especially for the three main ones) there are usually common understandings in different cultures about their meaning and influence. However, the characteristic of blue, red and yellow, on which all the others of a rich palette are built, is that they are always of dual meaning. When found in different contexts and shades with the presence and absence of light (higher presence of white or higher presence of black), these colors can carry both positive and negative symbolism. Here are a few examples.
Blue is often associated with purity, freedom, truth, goodness, nobility (in its paler shades) as a reference to the sky and the color blue, but also with sadness, death, unhappiness, in shades with a higher content of black.
Red has always been the color of love, but also of passion, and in its even stronger form – of rage and devastating forces.
Yellow is the bearer of the greatest wealth – light, and hence the Sun, joy, warmth, luck and happiness. These positives, which have been attributed including the golden color, and the precious metal itself since ancient times. At the same time, however, at its other extreme, this color is associated with greed, anger, malice, and all the human baseness that results from the poverty of the soul.
In Indian culture, which has been dealing with the question of human harmony for centuries, through the movement of our inner energy centers called “Chakras” (Sanskrit or translated as “wheels”) – yellow drives the Manipura chakra (the so-called Third Chakra “, located from the navel to the solar plexus).
This energy wheel is responsible for our will, for the release of energy through the eternally burning fire inside us and according to the yogis, it’s balance is very important because its excessive use or its too strong “ignition” can disrupt human health, cause personal crises and feelings of irresistible anger, which (as described in Hindu culture) eats us from within.
The understandings of the impact of colors on our health are numerous and multifaceted, but a good and successful artist always manages to capture this ambivalence in his works and to recreate an impactful image that nourishes our spiritual thrills. Of course, it often happens that we are in such a special inner mood, whether due to mental state or physical reasons, that we just suddenly feel overwhelmed by the image on the canvas. Then the magic of art happens – its special power, which through the influence of the image and the light and shadows, the nuances and the materials used manages to communicate with us directly, without an intermediary.
Usually, the gate to this communication opens through our senses, and most often in the fine arts it is the visual apparatus.
The paintings are the highest expression of this special direct communication between man and creative creativity, which combines the light of the whole color palette. In this way one does not deprive one of the investments in the color palette of meanings and does not exclude any of their symbolism. This gives an even more harmonious reading of the picture and allows us to look at things from the sides, to immerse ourselves in them, armed with full knowledge and, above all, with an independent view. This is the moment of contemplation. It is different from watching and observing.
Contemplation is an almost meditative process in which we can afford to experience pure, unforced emotions, to be free from everyday expectations, from the idea of shame and obscenity, from the feeling of belonging.
The opportunity to enjoy the feeling of complete freedom of our emotions every day, through our sensory apparatus, not only reduces stress and anxiety, but also increases our quality of life, making ourselves calmer, balanced and confident.
Symbolism, semantics and color theory come into our lives through science and philosophy (among the works of Newton and Goethe, for example) as a means of communication between us and our environment.
They are very clearly manifested through art as one of the most direct ways to take advantage of the power of color compositions, of light and shadow, to get a sense of aesthetic pleasure, to understand in depth the principles of light refraction. All this largely determines our entire social order – including our sense of architecture, illustration, design, and everything in the field of applied arts or any thing in our lives first passes through our understanding and perception of art, color combination and composition of images. This philosophical and private scientific knowledge allows us to achieve personal independence, to make informed decisions based on our own critical thinking and to draw logical conclusions in order to achieve better results in personal and social terms.
All this is wonderfully captured by each of the artists on the site 5new and recreated in their works dedicated to the power of yellow. No matter which doctrine of harmony in life we will rely on, which cultural doctrine and which common understandings of symbolism in the world – art has been and will always remain a mediator for the relationship between the world around us and our pure emotion. It is the sense of our spirituality and gives us the opportunity to believe, dream and strive for a better state of personality. The original works once again confirm the diversity of our perceptions – some like and see the shade of yellow in one way, others perceive it in another. The task of the artist here is to satisfy the hunger of the soul of anyone who seeks this ray of light in his surroundings. After all, if yellow had a motto, it would probably be the Latin saying that seeks to answer the question “what people should want from life”,
namely “Mens sana in corpore sano” (or in translation “Healthy spirit in healthy body”). To this we dedicate the works from the Illumination auction, at 5new.org, which you can view and bid until May 9 inclusive.