Crayola Multicultural Crayons melted on paper, color pencil, on mixed media board
In her recent body of work, Agüero-Esparza presents the viewer with abstractions created using the skin tone palette of the ColorYourWorld: CrayolaMulticulturalCrayons set. Referencing Joseph Albers’ color theory in the title of the exhibition, Agüero-Esparza’s leather, fabric and paper works explore the idea of a “racialized abstraction” connecting her mixed media works to colorism and the personal experience and representation of one’s color. In the evocative quote below, although Albers is referring to the visual perception of chromatic color, his language is tinged with words that connote experiencing color as having social implications.
“As “gentlemen prefer blondes,” so everyone has preference for certain colors and prejudices against others. This applies to color combinations as well. It seems good that we are of different tastes. As it is with people in our daily life, so it is with color. We change, correct, or reverse our opinions about colors, and this change of opinion may shift forth and back. Therefore, we try to recognize our preferences and our aversions—what colors dominate in our work; what colors, on the other hand, are rejected, disliked, or of no appeal. Usually a special effort in using disliked colors ends with our falling in love with them.”