Cecilia Portal

La Vida de lo Blanco
The Life of White

In The Life of White I explore places where the color white lives. These abstract images first came to me in dreams with no plot—just recurring images of white textures and forms, along with a voice that said: “White is the color of your memory.” I realized these dreams originated in early childhood memories of my native Cuba, where houses were white and people wore white clothes and shoes.

The Life of White has evolved in a series of chapters, as dreams often do when they visit for several nights. Chapter One: White on Cardboard - comprised of white geometric forms shaped on white cardboard. Chapter Two: White on Paper - created with paper forms, images in both chapters are constructed and photographed in my studio with a macro lens and later assembled in the computer. Chapter Three: White on Asphalt includes white stripes and symbols on roads and street. I look for places where white resides, where it loses its whiteness: roads, buildings, objects.

As I investigated the color white, I found it is full of contradictions; it can be defined either as the absence of all pigmentary colors or the presence of all colors in a spectrum of light. White can symbolize birth and death in different cultures. In modern post-industrial societies, white has lost many of its mythical and symbolic meanings—without regard to its inherent purity and luminosity. The Life of White explores the essence of white by exposing its contradictions.

The Life of White is a series of abstract, large-scale black-and-white photographs rendered on 24x36 inch pigment prints on Canson fine art paper.