So, I’m supposed to take you seriously?

Yes, this is pure snark. It’s been building and I am tired.

Maybe it is just my experience, but I don’t assume we all see the same things.

Sometime in 1986-87, give or take a semester, one of my art classes went to Wildcat Glades to draw and paint. The instructor set to work right away with paper and oil pastel to recreate the waterfall. His colors were surprisingly way off for his normal style. In fact, when this was mentioned, he questioned the commenter, quite doubtfully. After all, it looked normal to him.

Until he removed his sunglasses.

“Oh wow! I never really thought about the way these filter color, nor have I worn them for color work before.”

Kind of an important lesson for all of us.

A couple years later, when I was at the The University Museum at SIUE, we were talking about the design of the new art building under construction. Tremendous amounts of glass blocks were to be used to give it a light and airy feel with a very contemporary design. And a tremendous amount of greenish light. The administration and architects seemed uninterested in listening to the experts who tried to explain that this might not be a good thing. It was finished after I left, so I hope it all worked out (I think they did use a different glass block). [These were the same people planning a gallery with lights at 24ft height, but only noted storage for a 12ft rolling ladder. We joked that the plan was to hire at least 12ft tall grad assistant each year.]

The lesson is that we need to be careful of being overly confident in what we (think we) see. Or measure.

If you assume that we all see the same thing the same way, you are probably wrong.

When I was a cocky, snarky, difficult to get along with art student, I would insist that I only saw six colors.  I don’t really recall what they were, it was just an annoying way to justify my choices in palette and design. It was also a way I chose to think about things because it had become clear that not many people saw things the way I did. (I’m not saying my was better. It was simply right.) Talking with other artists, I learned about their conceits and world views that informed how they saw things.

We all understood that light has different colors and it was fairly easy to change how someone perceived art by changing the qualities of the light on the art.

So before you damage a relationship by insisting something is one thing while someone else insists the opposite, maybe you should consider the lighting.

And just to be clear, this post is not about #TheDress. It is about #PIRS. And any other attempt  of rating, ranking, or measurement.

Be nice. It won't hurt either of us.

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