Colors have a sometimes secret, sometimes imperceptible, but always present influence over us. The shades of the clothes we’re wearing, the painting of the walls where we work or sleep, the flowers that decorate our homes or the streets we walk on a daily basis speak a language made of nuance, sheen and opacities, that our senses understand. Remember that, from Goethe to Wittgenstein, colors have been taken to occupy a marginal area of our understanding that language guesses at and senses, but cannot entirely decode.

Recently, the artist Andrew Miller conducted an interesting experiment in which, over the course of 100 days, he stripped the color off some BLANCO IIof the most emblematic brands of our daily consumption, with the only stipulation that each product painted white cost 10 US dollars.

And so Miller uniformly dressed these objects (toys, a newspaper, cans of food and drinks, electronic and mechanic devices, etc.) painting them white, melting them into a commercial nirvana of sorts where everything seems to come from the same marketing matrix—the palette we usually associate with their name being lost.

The result, as others have pointed out, is somewhat disturbing, as it pulls us away from our habit of approaching a brand while knowing in advance what it’s going to look like when we find it (a gesture of familiarity that is also found in the very basis of our interaction with the world). However, if instead of the usual red of our cigarette pack or the metallic blue of our drink we find an immaculate surface free of color, our mind, it seems, responds similarly and goes blank.

Brand Spirit is the title of this project, a clear reference to the possible “spirit” that a commercial brand should always have, beyond forms, colors and other circumstantial accidents that cloak its essence. But perhaps the most interesting thing about this artistic project is its discovery of the miraculous precariousness with which we approach the world’s objects ––how a tiny change can greatly alter our perception of reality.

Colors have a sometimes secret, sometimes imperceptible, but always present influence over us. The shades of the clothes we’re wearing, the painting of the walls where we work or sleep, the flowers that decorate our homes or the streets we walk on a daily basis speak a language made of nuance, sheen and opacities, that our senses understand. Remember that, from Goethe to Wittgenstein, colors have been taken to occupy a marginal area of our understanding that language guesses at and senses, but cannot entirely decode.

Recently, the artist Andrew Miller conducted an interesting experiment in which, over the course of 100 days, he stripped the color off some BLANCO IIof the most emblematic brands of our daily consumption, with the only stipulation that each product painted white cost 10 US dollars.

And so Miller uniformly dressed these objects (toys, a newspaper, cans of food and drinks, electronic and mechanic devices, etc.) painting them white, melting them into a commercial nirvana of sorts where everything seems to come from the same marketing matrix—the palette we usually associate with their name being lost.

The result, as others have pointed out, is somewhat disturbing, as it pulls us away from our habit of approaching a brand while knowing in advance what it’s going to look like when we find it (a gesture of familiarity that is also found in the very basis of our interaction with the world). However, if instead of the usual red of our cigarette pack or the metallic blue of our drink we find an immaculate surface free of color, our mind, it seems, responds similarly and goes blank.

Brand Spirit is the title of this project, a clear reference to the possible “spirit” that a commercial brand should always have, beyond forms, colors and other circumstantial accidents that cloak its essence. But perhaps the most interesting thing about this artistic project is its discovery of the miraculous precariousness with which we approach the world’s objects ––how a tiny change can greatly alter our perception of reality.

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