Dover Street Market is welcoming a collaborative art installation titled No Colour, Mo' Colour to its Los Angeles location. Created by the Paradigm Publishing art house collective and artists Anthony Jamari Thomas and John Dominguez, the project focuses on the stereotypes and learned behaviors surrounding race and color, and how they permeate society and politics.
The No Colour Mo' Colour concept was created by Thomas, who has cited the works of author James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Socrates as instrumental in his understanding of how humans are conditioned when it comes to race, and he has worked to explore how it relates to him on a personal level. That research has given the DSM LA installation its overarching theme.
For the installation, Thomas linked up with Dominguez to create a painting titled FREE FROM ABSTRACTION NO.1. The artwork will be displayed at Dover Street Market and, marking a first for the Los Angeles store, will be available to buy.
In addition, the duo linked up on a video piece, which you can watch above and a capsule collection which is available now at DSM.
To celebrate the installation, we caught up with Dominguez to discuss his contribution and the concept of No Colour, Mo' Colour.
Why did you decide to collaborate on this project?
I’ve always been interested in the concept of identity. We’re all constructed of building blocks consisting of stock history coupled with personal experience and ideology through time. So when Anthony Jamari Thomas and Theophilos at Paradigm approached me about the project, I was immediately interested.
Can you explain the concept of No Colour, Mo' Colour?
The title No Colour, Mo' Colour really exists as two mindsets, "No Colour" being the precursor to "Mo' Colour." The first of the two, No Colour, is based on the notion that people exist as colorless, animal is animal. The second of the two, Mo' Colour, is the acceptance of that idea with the realization that individuality still very much exists. Once I was able to break down the idea, I was able to start thinking of how I might translate it into an artwork.
How does your painting relate to the wider idea of No Colour, Mo' Colour?
The painting relates to No Colour, Mo' Colour because it’s very much an embodiment of the concept itself. It's a depiction of the ideology as well as a portrait of Anthony Jamari Thomas. Abstract in nature, impossible to define, powerful in its obscurity.
The piece has been designed to be a physical visualization of an ideology created by AJT. The idea of the No Colour, Mo' Colour state of mind is to operate on a plane of consciousness that is free from learned behaviors as they pertain to societally normative stereotypes of race and color. Pure individuality derived from an understanding of personal growth and the mechanisms responsible for our perception of our own realities.
When I finally grasped the nature of the mindset, I came to the conclusion that if it were truly recognized and applied, the person would become more of an enigma, not easily defined due to freedom from the norm.
How does the capsule collection tie into this artwork?
Everything involved in this project is an encapsulation of the concept at hand. The audio, video, clothing, books, painting, hard work, etc. All of these things are expressions of the No Colour, Mo' Colour ideology.
What do you want the viewer to take away from this work?
If there was one thing above all that I would want people to take away with them, it would be an understanding of the concept. I think it’s a really great idea and that people could benefit from it. The whole idea is seemingly convoluted, but in reality, it’s simple: see others as you see yourself: beautiful, complicated embodiments of nature.