A long time ago I heard a talk by a woman who worked with young girls in Afghanistan. In human rights terms, she said, one of the most important 'rights' was the right of choice. To choose to learn or not, to earn or not, to marry or not... to live or not. Choice was something that we in Australia took entirely for granted. Being 'spoiled for choice' is definitely a first-world problem. In the scheme of things, does it really matter whether we paint our bedroom walls Bit of Blue or Barely Blue? Yet if you were a fly on the wall of many a home renovation (or, let's face it, just watched half an episode of The Block), you'd witness full-on domestic wars arise over just this issue.
Artist Shawn Huckins has explored the concept of choice in his clever and darkly humorous Paint Chip Series. He says, "In today’s abundant American culture, any material thing we could possibly ever want or need is at our fingertips. The Paint Chip Series explores color choice and its meaning in our daily lives."
Each work exactly replicates the proportions, font, layout and hues of the miniature paint cards you find in hardware stores. These are the "bands of color we may choose for our most intimate spaces—bedrooms, kitchens, family rooms," and Huckins says they represent the ideal stage to examine everyday people and objects.
All images used here with the kind permission of the artist.
ps. Take a look at Huckins' tweets from the American Revolution series. Underneath the cheeky tweets in all those teen abbreviations that I can never quite get (thank goodness he 'translates' in the title of each work), these are all hand-painted portraits.