Embracing you from the pages of just about any upscale interiors magazine you care to mention, blues have been having a moment in interior design for the last eighteen months. And now a designer and photographer working in collaboration have created a quirky twist on blue, which marries a history of the colour blue in art with a wry look at the modern world of digital technology. Although ‘Google blue’ is a term we just coined (don’t ask for it in your local paint shop – yet), it explains perfectly the process by which designer Martino Gamper and photographer Brigitte Niedermair created the piece, Screenshot.
Produced in collaboration with Milan textile house Dedar, Gamper and Niedermair were in Lake Garda to discuss the project. “One evening,” Gamper explains, “we began to look up some images on a phone. There wasn’t much reception. So these patterns, these slow-loading blocks of colour, kept coming up.” Seeing the chromatic possibilities, the pair asked Caterina and Raffaele Fabrizio, Dedar’s owners, about which artists they admired and, using an iPad, captured the colours that emerged as Google searched for picture results. Artists included Giotto, whose frescos at the Scovegni Chapel are famed for their extraordinary use of blue, Matisse and of course Yves Klein, whose use of a specific blue has been immortalised with his name – Yves Klein Blue.
The results are a sort of tone poem in blue, reproduced on fabrics from Dedar and mounted in slim brass frames. The images created capture the mystery of blue as a colour, both elusive in nature and in art throughout its long history, as our earlier story about blue being ‘invisible’ shows. Gamper noted that despite Yves Klein Blue being a remarkably stable and consistent colour, when his images are viewed through a computer screen, the very process of photographing and digitising the images he created using it has lead to a plethora of shades of blue appearing in the search – a reminder of the visual filters that technology imposes on art and the world around us.
Screenshot is available as a limited edition artwork from Dedar.