From the Pi Art Square Show Series)
Mixed Media on 12” Maple Tondo
Artist: Stacey MacNevin
In the late 1970’s the US was rife with wave after wave of violent crime and a raging drug epidemic, when a professor named Alexander Schauss noticed that a sickly shade of bright pink seemed to reduce hostile, violent and aggressive behaviour. He named this shade P-618, originally created by mixing one gallon of pure white latex paint with one pint of red trim semi-gloss outdoor paint. First Schauss experimented on himself and then he convinced a Naval Correctional Facility in Seattle to paint some prison cells this pink and see if there were any effects and what they found was that the violence, erratic and hostile behaviour during the initial phase of confinement was greatly reduced. Only 15 mins of exposure was needed Schauss renamed the colour “Baker-Miller pink” after the two directors of the prison and the colour began to find itself on the walls of correctional institutes, locker rooms for visiting teams, bus seats and small town “drunk tanks”, solidifying itself as a pop culture phenomenon. Schauss ended up on TV, testing out his theory on strong me.
Naturally, academia sought to debunk the efficacy of Schauss’ Baker Miller Pink (how could a colour change so much?! It’s too simple an idea) and over the next decade finding little by way or significant effects to support his theory and soon interest began to fizzle into obscurity. Very few prisons can be found with the colour present in it nowadays, perhaps guards and staff couldn’t stomach the effects themselves. As an artist grounded in a visual language grounded in the syntax of colour, I am behind the notion (scientifically proven or not) that any colour(s) can affect behaviour. If there was any a time that Drunk Tank Pink needs a reboot, it is now. Neuroscientists posit that our ability to perceive colour was to understand each other better, to communicate. Paint over everything, the cacophony of colour, the layered incongruous riot of colours taken over by P-618 Pink. These pieces are an homage to the need for less hostility, aggression and violence.
Circles are symbols of cyclical movement, a trinity of pink peace, Drunk Tank Pink, 1, 2 & 3 (#1 & #2 SOLD)
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