The world of color is a treasure trove for the human soul. Over the centuries, artists and researchers have explored the transformative effects of color on the human mind. Among them, Josef Albers, a renowned artist and art theorist of the 20th century, holds a special place. Based on my own experience as a child with epilepsy, I recall how colors transformed my world into an ocean of calm and well-being.
Color as personal healing
As a child with epilepsy, my world was characterized by sudden seizures and unpredictable emotional outbursts. In the midst of this chaos, I found refuge in the world of color. This showed me early on that colors could have an immediate impact on emotional well-being. For this reason, even if for therapeutic reasons, my artistic journey began in my early teens. Artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, David Hockney & Josef Albers showed me that color and impact had a special power on me. Josef Albers' famous series "Homage to the Square" is also a testament to his fascination with the effect of color on the psyche of the viewer. Albers' art therapy approach was based on the idea that colors create an individual resonance and thus offer the possibility of releasing emotional blockages. Similar to the Rorschach method, colors can bring out deep-seated emotions and bring unconscious conflicts to light.
Pop Shop, 1987 by Keith Haring
Pool made with paper and blue ink for book, 1980 by David Hockney
Color as a communicative medium
However, the therapeutic effects of color go beyond personal healing. Colors can also serve as a powerful communicative medium. They speak a universal language that transcends cultural and linguistic boundaries. They have the power to address emotions directly and communicate on a deeper, intuitive level. Red can convey passion and energy, blue often represents calm and peace, while green is associated with nature and freshness. Each color has its own symbolic meaning, which is influenced by cultural contexts and personal experiences.
Red White, 1962 by Ellsworth Kelly
Often the use of color in art and design is used to convey messages in a subtle yet powerful way. The mood of an image or design can be profoundly affected by the purposeful use of certain color combinations, putting the viewer in a particular emotional state. For example, a cool blue can create a calming atmosphere, while a bright yellow attracts attention and conveys energy. In the combination of both colors, we create our own essential state, which gives us our own & unique approach, depending on our background and past. In art therapy this idea is used to help patients express their feelings and inner conflicts. At the same time it directs the focus to essential and deeply rooted emotions.
Hommage to the square, 1970 by Josef Albers
In conclusion, i can of course only speak for myself and my experience with color, but in a world full of everyday noise, color is a unique refuge. In today's fast-paced society, we need places of retreat that stimulate us on essential levels. For me, these places of retreat are color and space and i am grateful to have discovered them.