COLORBLINDARTIST.COM

Colorblind Perception

Portraits of the Colorblind

 Colorblind Self Portrait, first in the Colorblind Perceptions series, Red-Green Colorblind, with tiny tightly placed circles with equal size background circles, reds and greens on white.  Rob 3 Complete Colorblindness, Image of large wall installation, very large hand cut circles on white wall in grey scale.  Rob 2 Complete Colorblindness, portrait made up of medium circles in grey scale on white. Rob 1, Complete Colorblindness, portrait made up of many tightly placed circles in grey scale on white. Dorothy ’Dot’ 3, Unique Colorblindness from chemical exposure to the eye, portrait made up of large circles and equally sized background circles, red, orange, and pinks on grey. Dorothy  ’Dot’ 2, Unique Colorblindness from chemical exposure to the eye, portrait made up of medium circles, red, orange, and pinks on grey, red, orange, and pinks on grey. Dorothy  ’Dot’ 1, Unique Colorblindness from chemical exposure to the eye, portrait made up of small tightly place circles, red, orange, and pinks on grey. Shan 3, Yellow-Blue Colorblind, portrait made up of large circles with equally sized background circles, yellow and blue circles on grey. Shan 2, Yellow-Blue Colorblind, portrait of Shan smiling made up of medium sized circles, yellow and blue circles on grey. Shan 1, Yellow-Blue Colorblind, portrait made up of many tightly placed circles, yellow and blue circles on grey. Ari, Portrait portrayed in Red-Green Colorblind, portrait made up of many tightly placed circles with equally sized background circles, red and green circles on dark grey. Rick 3, Complete Colorblindness, portrait made up of larg circles on grey background. Green (different shades). Rick 2, Complete Colorblindness, portrait made up of many tightly placed circles, Blue (different shades) circles on dark grey. Rick 1, Complete Colorblindess, portrait made up of many tightly placed circles, Red (different shades).
Aaron 1, Red-Green Colorblindess, portrait made up of many tightly placed circles, Slight grey background with Green and Red shaded Circles. Aaron 2, Red-Green Colorblindess, portrait made up of many tightly placed circles, Slight grey background with Green and Red shaded Circles. Len1, Blue-Yellow or Blue-Green Colorblind portrait, Made up of very small tightly placed circles. The portrait is made up of green and pink variations.

Colorblind Perception

John Dunkleman


We can't help but respond to color, we are societal conditioned to make associations to color and the color of things. White in some cultures like Africa can signal a death, while in America it can signal a wedding. Equally we appeal to certain colors because that is what our brains tell us to do; that deep red of a strawberry triggers the brain to let us know it may be a good idea to eat it.

But what happens when one's color perception is not like others? There are roughly 8-12% of the population in the United States that are Colorblind. The large majority of them being males, with only about 0.5% are females. This means there are colors that are seen by the many to mean one thing, but for these few Colorblind people, mean another. This color deficiency or blindness throws off the color spectrum that normal vision people are use to. Therefore, the colors that are interpreted through the eye are different form the colors seen, in part or in whole, by the normal vision person.

My portraits reference the Ishihara Color Circle tests that are issues to children and adults in order to discover Colorblindness. The tests are largely made up 3 different circle sizes, the sizes being exactly half the size of the larger. There are a variety of colors that relate to one another in a sense that they are trying to trick the Colorblind persons eye into not seeing an image that should easily be seen by the non-Colorblind person. This occurs because some colors are seen as others, for example to a Red-Green Colorblind person, a dark green and a brown may look identical, where the difference is easily seen by the non-Colorblind. I take the three circle sizes and create a portrait of an individual who is Colorblind, while applying the colors that they have issues seeing. Because of the values and intensities of the colors that are used, the individual along with the non-Colorblind person can see the portrait. I also reference this test because I wanted to reclaim in some part, the tests that have been associated with us and often brought up to separate us from the normal vision.

Colorblindness varies in spectrum and has many variables, and because there are different types of Colorblindness, each individual gains their own unique pallet and it is repeated each time they have another portrait done. There are tests that can determine different types of Colorblindness but most people are only given the Ishihara test whether they are Colorblind or not. The specific type and degree of Colorblindness of each individual varies. For this reason once a person has a pallet that is unique to them, it not only helps represent them in their portrait, but also aids them in being able to guarantee them seeing their portrait.

Not always a curse, some Colorblind individuals are noted as being able to see farther in low light, fog, and other situations but seem to do so because of the sacrifice of color. For example, on a foggy darker night a Colorblind individual may be able to see further or more clearly than the non-Colorblind, but has a higher chance of confusing a street lamp with a traffic light. At a distance or with blurry eyes, people start to lose this difference and are able to see shapes or groupings similarly. Based on this fact and referencing the impressionist and pointillists, the portraits from a distance can be seen more successfully than point blank range. This is evident when seeing an image that is blurred, in low light, smaller scale or at further distance.

The paintings and prints in the series vary in size of circles (while preserving the 3 sizes,) colors, legibility at various distances, and of course image. This is done to reference the Ishihara color circle tests, as each test can be more or less obvious to someone who is viewing them. The more abstract the painting is up close, the more frustrating it becomes to try and figure out what the image is that someone looking just behind you, over your shoulder or across the room, can see more easily in comparison to you. This also references how difficult it is to explain to someone how you see or perceive things while being Colorblind and having to deal with he frustrations of the visual world around you, while others see the same image but from a different perspective and it becomes more or less successful or clear.


About the Subjects


Aaron

Aaron 1, Red-Green Colorblindess, portrait made up of many tightly placed circles, Slight grey background with Green and Red shaded Circles.

Aaron Brown is a fellow Red-Green Colorblind artist who works as a Photographer in Illinois, USA. Facing challenges with color has not slowed him down in the least, with a successful Photography business that satisfies his customers time and time again. You can see his works at his website AaronBrownPhotos.com, and on his Facebook Page where he posts updates of works in progress and shares his photos with his followers, FB Aaron Brown Photography.



Rick

Rick 1-2, which includes a progression of smaller tightly placed circles to medium circles portraits, which include an all red portrait and an all blue portrait.

Rick Russell started painting in 2009. Prior to 2009, Rick focused his creative energy on areas where his visual disability did not play a major role such as metal sculpture and drawing. Rick has a rare form of color blindness called monochromacy, complete color blindness, in which the eye only sees colors as shades of gray. People afflicted with this genetic disorder often describe their world as being vibrant or colorful due to their ability to see contrasts of light and dark. In 2009, Rick fell in love with painting and has not looked back. Rick's paintings are full of movement and texture and offer the viewer a unique perspective into the world where color takes a back seat to form. Ricks work can be seen both on his website CBGStudios.com and on his Facebook where he posts updates of works in progress FB CBGStudios



Shan

Shan 1-3, photo of the three portraits made of Shan, which includes a progression of smaller tightly placed circles to medium circles, to large circles with accompanying background circles.

Shan is Yellow-Blue or sometimes called Green-Blue Colorblind. Unlike the Red-Green people, Yellow-Blue Colorblind people are not Colorblind due to their recessive genes but instead a dominate one. Being a female it is also more rare as the majority of Colorblindness is displayed due to a recessive trait that is carried in the X gene which women have 2 of to correct the problem where men who only have one (XY) are stuck with being Colorblind. Women roughly make up only 0.5% of the population. Yellow-blue Colorblindness is not as common and the Colorblind may not know they are Colorblind at all due to the colors they have issues with. Shan found out she was Colorblind in college for art and it doesn’t affect her everyday life. Colors such as Orange and Pinks are the greatest issue points, which are often not seen together in everyday life as to call her Colorblindness into attention until College. Shan is currently an Artist and Graphic Designer and is working towards her Art Education Degree.



Dorothy "Dot"

Dorothy, photo of the three portraits made of Dorothy ’Dot’ which includes a progression of smaller tightly placed circles to medium circles, to large circles with accompanying background circles.

Dorothy or "Dot" was not born Colorblind. Many people think the only way someone can become Colorblind is by birth, but there are other ways people can and do become colorblind later in life; people can lose their color perception by a Stroke, Chemical Exposure, Diabetes, etc. When Dorothy was in her 80's she accidently splashed bleach in her eyes. About a year later she went in for cataracts surgery. It was not until her late 80's until it was pointed out and noticed that she had a large color pallet switch. Based on her love for books and an everyday routine, color was not as important and therefor not noticed until a social visit and realization. After a few comparing tests of different colors, it is now known that Dorothy is Colorblind and has trouble with colors ranging from pinks, reds, purples, greens, oranges and more. Her color pallet seems to be mixed up, which often happens to someone who is colorblind. Colorblindness often affects one's entire color perception/pallet. Dorothy is now 94 and is living in Texas with her family.



Rob

Rob 1-3, photo of the three portraits made of Rob which includes a progression of smaller tightly placed circles to medium circles, to large installation on Well with very large hand cut circles.

Rob is totally Colorblind. He currently lives in Alberta, Canada and works in a local Grocery store. He has grown up without being able to see color at all and says it was not difficult growing up where he did and often does not acknowledge his Colorblindness. He is know among his friends for being quick-witted but often tunes out color references as he almost boycotts the acknowledgement of color. Rob does not wish to make much light of his Colorblindness and doesn’t like to tell people, but rather make it obvious that people should respond a different way when describing things to him. "I'll tell them if they get mad and ask me why I keep ignoring their directions if they use color only but people should not rely only on one thing, especially if that one thing could be something that part of the population has issues with. People rely too much on something that is largely man made now. I work everyday around man made labels and apparently people think I should memorize their color, but I think the color is not natural or necessary to anyone’s wellbeing." Rob acknowledges his Colorblindness internally and said he would not try and become an electrician or something where color could be an issue or dangerous and knows his limitations and would rather do something that color isn’t going to interfere in his daily life.



John

Colorblind Self Portrait, first in the Colorblind Perceptions series, Red-Green Colorblindness, with tiny tightly placed circles with equal size background circles, reds and greens on white.

When I went into college for art and found myself explaining to Professors and fellow students alike about what I see, how I see, how colorblindness works, etc. In 2011 I made my Self Portrait, as seen above, and this started my Colorblind Perceptions series, which was also part of my Senior Thesis work to complete my BFA. I am red-weak but as most Red-Green Colorblind people, my greens also seem to suffer and my color pallet is always a bit off. My work has led me to realize that I hate the question "What color is this?" and that some Colorblind people (mostly who are Red-Green Colorblind) have a stronger sensitivity to shades in our rods which can let us write and read secret messages that the normal visioned people can not normally see. I am currently working on more portraits of the Colorblind in both digital prints and paintings, but will also be expanding to light based portraits in the upcoming months. I also hope to create unique Screen-prints that reference Colorblindness.

Upcoming


Dykeman Young, Inc. Gallery, 100 East Second Street. 3rd Floor, Jamestown, NY, April 26-May 16
Colorblind Perception II (Solo Show)


Woman Made Gallery, 685 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL, May 10-June 20, 2013
Human Being II Juror: Riva Lehrer


Currently on Display


Partners in Art Gallery in North Tonawanda, NY, April 6-26, 2013
FALB's Spring Show


Reciently on Display


- AAAlliance at Lillian V. Ney Renaissance Center in Jamestown, NY, Feburary 23-March 10, 2013:
Winter Fest


Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO, Feburary 18-March 8 2013:
Four by Six


Livingston Arts Center in Mt Morris, NY. Feburary 7-March 5, 2013:
GVCA Exhibit


- Big Orbit Gallery in Buffalo, NY, February 2-March 9, 2013:
22st Annual Member Show


- Art Exchange, 3rd on 3rd Gallery in Jamestown, NY, Janurary 19-Feburary 22, 2013:
Art Exchange: Jamestown


- LACDA Snap to Grid in Los Angeles, CA, January 15-Feburary 2, 2013
- Published in Skald 2012 in Buffalo, NY.

Skald 2012, Image of Shan 1 in Skald publication 2012, tightly placed circles, Yellow-Blue Colorblindness.

SKALD 2012

2012 Gold Medal from Columbia Scholastic Press
2012 All-Columbian Honors for Content


- 464 Gallery in Buffalo, NY, December 14-January 2, 2012-2013:
464 Gallery Presents Presents


464 Gallery Presents Presents, image of new portrait Aaron 1, among others on the wall of 464 Gallery.

This group show at 464 Gallery in Buffalo, NY, introduced a new portrait of Aaron Brown and also included 2 other Colorblind portraits. The show intended to bring notice to emerging artists and their works, as well as providing artwork for sale for the holidays, hence the name 464 Gallery Presents Presents.



- AAAlliance at Lillian V. Ney Renaissance Center in Jamestown, NY, November 24-December 15, 2012, 6-11pm.
AAAlliance 8 Year Anniversary Showcase


6 Portraits, including a Colorblind self portrait, Rick 1-3 and Shan 1-2 installed at the Renaissance Center in Jamestown, NY.

John's first showing outside of Buffalo, from his series Colorblind Preception, was widely embraced by the people of Jamestown, NY. John will be in thier Feburary 23, 2013 show with new works, including a large wall installiation piece.


- ELAB at Buffalo Arts Studio, in Buffalo, NY, October 13, 2012:
Creative Conversation: Emergence


ELAB, Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo, Creative Conversation: Emergence. Pictures contains three smaller works from other artists on the left and a large portrait of Rick 2 - Blue circles.

At this one night event hosted by ELAB, John gave a short artist's talk about his concept of his Colorblind Precepion series and touched on the misconceptions of being Colorblind and the struggles assiocated with being a Colorblind artist.


- 464 Gallery in Buffalo, NY, Sept 1-18, 2012:
Vision Art Awards Contest



- Paul William Beltz PC Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, July 1-August 1, 2012:
Summer Show 2012



- Burchfield Penny Art Center in Buffalo, NY, May 11-August 26, 2012:
The Artists Among Us II.


Image of a wall in the exhibit The Artists Among Us, including the portrait of Shan 1, tightly placed circles, Yellow-Blue Colorblindness.


- Western New York Book Art Collaborative in Buffalo, NY, June 22-August 25, 2012:
Fourth Annual WNYBAC Members’ Exhibition


An image of a wall in the 2012 Members’ exhibition, Dorothy Dot 1, tightly placed circles, Unique Colorblindness due to chemical exposure.


- Main(ST)udios in Buffalo, NY, May 4-10, 2012
Colorblind Perception


Photo 1 of the entire show at Main(st)udios. Colorblind Perceptions May, 2012.

The first showing of Colorblind Perception opened on May 4, 2012. The Exibition contained 12 pieces which included a 80"x58" poirtrait on the wall made of hand cut circles, 6 - 30"x40" paintings, 3 - 20"x30" digital prints, and 2 small 11x14 digital prints. The show displayed portraits of three different individuals with different colorblindness as well as one self portrait of the artist.



Photo 2 of the entire show at Main(st)udios. Colorblind Perceptions May, 2012.

The portraits of the individuals dipicted were made of varrying different sizes and refrenced the Ishihara color circles, which aid in determining if an individual is colorblind or not. Each portrait contained a specific color pallet unique to the person's colorblindness. Dispite the colors used in each portrait being ones that the individual has trouble/can not see, the portrait is created so that the person, as well as the general public, can see their own portrait.


- Big Orbit Gallery in Buffalo, NY, February 4-March 3, 2012
21st Annual Member Show
Juror's Pick


Colorblind Self Portrait, Juror’s Pick 2012, Big Orbit Art Gallery, first in the Colorblind Perceptions series, Red-Green Colorblindness, with tiny tightly placed circles with equal size background circles, reds and greens on white.

Jurors
Rich Kegler, P22 Type Foundry
Cori Wolff, Artistic Director at Buffalo Arts Studio | Curator at Olean Public Library Gallery

Contact

Colorblindartist(at)Ymail(dot)com

Facebook.com/TheColorblindArtist


Are you Colorblind?

Please contact me if you would like to talk about Colorblindness and possibably become a model for the current series Colorblind Perceptions.


Intrested in Colorblind Art?

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Colorblind Artist’s Links


Galleries

Main Street Studios Link, www.mainstudiosbuffalo.com 464 Gallery and Retail link, www.464gallery.com Burchfield Penney Gallery link,www.burchfieldpenney.org  University at Buffalo (UB) Gallery link, www.unartgalleries.org A A Alliance link, www.activeartst.org


Artists

City of Lights Studio (Photography) link, www.city-lights-studio.com Savana Czekalski, Interior Designer, Online Portfolio. www. smczekalski.wix.com/portfolio Lloyd Mitchell Photgraphy link, lloydmitchell43.photoshelter.com Robot Kitten Designs link, www.RobotKittenDesigns.com David Grice profile on Active Artist Aliance, www.activeartist.org/50140