How many different approaches are there to colour?
From how many different viewpoints can it be seen?
There's the theoretical/technical approach, which measures the tonality, brightness and saturation of colour. There's the psychological/expressive approach, seen in experiments with chromotherapy.
And there's the anthropological approach, which studies the differences in the symbolic interpretation of individual colours across different populations and periods of history.

But what does colour mean for us, the people who work with it every day? Or, to be more precise, what did we want to convey by pairing colour palettes (our tool of choice) with 24 photographs of human subjects?

Well, without any underlying analytical or psychological goals, without making any judgements and without claiming to use every last shade in what is an infinite range of colours, we wanted to turn ourselves into a transparent prism that refracts a rainbow of emotions. To offer a vision and a reflection on the various states of mind that everyone goes through at one point or another, but not always in the same way.
Because everyone's feelings are affected by their own, unique life experience. With shades and intensities that are extremely personal. Even when faced with the same event, every look and every last wrinkle takes on a different hue from everyone else's. Don't be surprised, therefore, if amongst 'our' shades of grey or red there is the occasional anomalous brushstroke or even emotions that contradict one another. As Kierkegaard explained: '(...) the dearest and most attractive dwelling-place of despair is in the very heart of happiness'.

We therefore asked 24 brave volunteers at Pixartprinting to take part in this exploration of colours and emotions. Before being photographed, some unusual and challenging requests were made of them:
“Can you remember a day tinged with nostalgia or the last time you were so overcome with happiness that you cried? Can you remember having a sudden flash of intuition or being beset by opaque and unidentified anxiety?
Try to express it. Tap into that emotion again, as if you were experiencing it for the first time ... and give us a colour. A colour with 'your' shade and 'your' intensity.
A colour that stands out (and makes you stand out) from all the others.”

Bon voyage!

Lucia

How wonderful! Every day is brand new.
(Fausto Gianfranceschi, Aphorisms of Dissent)

DEGREES
OF WONDER

Michele

It is by surprises that experience teaches all she designs to teach us.
(Charles Sanders Peirce, Selected Works)

Luca

But what heaven could ever satisfy your dream of heaven?
(Manuel Bandeira, Brazilian poet)

THE INTENSITIES
OF INSPIRATION

Giulia

To bring the invisible full into play! let the visible go to the dogs - what matters?
(Robert Browning, British poet and playwright)

Valentina

That love is all there is, is all we know of love.
(Emily Dickinson, Poems)

LOVE'S
VARIATIONS

Julian

The vengeance of the sex is love.
(Angela Carter, The Passion of New Eve)

Samuele

Anxiety. That painful feeling of waiting.
(Eliane Amado Lévy-Valensi, French psychologist and psychoanalyst)

THE SCALE
OF ANXIETY

Domenico

In vain, in vain strive I/to possess the days/that overwhelm me noisily./I myself drown in time.
(Vincenzo Cardarelli, Poems: 'Adrift')

Federica

One who loves quiet remains impervious to the enemy's arrows; one who mixes with the multitude will receive frequent wounds.
(Abate Nilus, Eastern monasticism, 7th century)

SHADES
OF CALM

Amoussou

Only those who know how serious life is can be carefree.
(Anonymous)

Alberto

Hope is a waking dream.
(Attributed to Aristotle by Diogenes Laërtius)

VIBRATIONS
OF HOPE

Valentina

Hope is a risk that must be run.
(Georges Bernanos, Revolution and Liberty)

Anisoara

Comedy always stems from relative illogicality.
(Eduard Von Hartmann, German philosopher)

BRUSHSTROKES
OF JOY

Ivano

Sometimes I laugh, I joke, I play, I am human.
(Attributed to Pliny the Younger: Roman intellectual)

Stefano

As a jealous man, I suffer four times over: (…) from being excluded, from being aggressive, from being crazy, and from being common.
(Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)

THE HUES
OF JEALOUSY

Monica

A generous person is never jealous of what they see; what they imagine is enough.
(Jacinto Benavente, Spanish playwright)

Monica

Don't be ashamed of happiness, bear it triumphantly.
(Leo Paolazzi, aka Antonio Porta: writer and poet)

THE REFRACTIONS
OF HAPPINESS

Piergiorgio

All happiness is a form of innocence.
(Marguerite Yourcenar, Alexis, or the Treatise of Vain Struggle)

Steve

Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.
(Victor Hugo, Toilers of the Sea)

THE TONES
OF SADNESS

Carlo

That's how we live always saying goodbye.
(Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies)

Eugenia

Often the fear of one evil leads us into a worse.
(Nicolas Boileau, The Art of Poetry)

SHADOWS
OF FEAR

Nicoletta

From the completed Past to the void of the Future; and black,/invading the whole prism, became absolute.
(David Gascoyne, English surrealist poet)

Alberto

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
(J. J. Rousseau, The Social Contract)

SATURATIONS
OF ANGER

Andrea

God may pardon you, but I never can.
(Attributed to Elizabeth I, Queen of England until 1603)

License: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives 4.0