Have you ever wondered why your favorite color is what it is?

Until I heard Amanda Williams’ TedTalk – Why I Turned Chicago’s Abandoned Homes Into Art – I had never given it much thought.

But Amanda has some interesting theories, given her work as an artist with a supersized love of color. In today’s video, she shares her insights into color theory as both an artist and a pseudo-anthropologist. For two years, Amanda painted houses scheduled for demolition in the Inglewood neighborhood, using bold, monochromatic colors. She chose them after surveying residents who shared their memories and relationships to color.

Photo credit: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

In this way, each house is a colorful story beyond the paint choice. One draws from the Crown Royal purple wrapper while another comes from the Ultra Sheen blue color of a favorite hair product. But on a deeper level, the sum of these colors weave a larger narrative about our communities and the way we relate to each other.

On this note, Amanda examines the role of skin color in neighborhoods and how different colors coexist. Where Sonia Delaunay was driven to understand color blocking as the effect of one color next to another in design, Amanda Williams looks at neighborhood blocks of color and words like urban, ghetto and racism.

Amanda is right when she says color changes perceptions. This is true on many levels including color biases and what she calls “culturally coded beauty.” I can only hope that conversations like Amanda’s and other artists who explore truth through creative expression will continue to shape our discussion. We need these, more than ever, if we want to understand one another and move beyond prejudice.

P.s. My favorite color is purple. It was the color of the competitive gymnastics leotard I wore for years, my favorite grape-flavored, frozen Lola ice treat as a kid, and the preferred ink color used for taking notes during my university years.

Have a great weekend and see you on WomanScape.com this Sunday for our weekly new update!

Rose McInerney

Author Rose McInerney

Rose combines her love of all things artfully-designed to connect women to a shared community of learning and a richer, more fulfilled self. As a passionate storyteller, published writer, and international traveler, Rose believes women can build a better world through powerful storytelling.

More posts by Rose McInerney

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