“One bright summer morning, seven young men and women drive away from the billboards and the traffic jams, the neon chatter and the constant digital stimulation of their lives. After walking deep into the mountains, they abandon their clothing, along with the labels that have hung heavily around their necks: “promising student,” “stoner fuck-up,” “favorite son,” “vulnerable daughter.” Liberated from the limits that have defined them, they proceed to paint each other from head to toe in richly pigmented bear fat, further obscuring their former selves and setting the stage for the ultimate experience of freedom and resurrection.
The second photographic and short film project in artist Jim Mangan’s trilogy about rebirth, Color’d presents a very contemporary answer to a theme that is as old as the mountains and as universal as sunshine. Shot in saturated instant film and grainy 35 mm film, Color’d is set among the high alpine lakes of northern Utah’s Uinta Mountains and depicts a journey of stepping outside the increasingly narrow confines of modern America to literally paint anew one’s identity. Alejandro Jodorowsky has endorsed Color’d by providing his song, Entierro Del Primer Juguete, which he composed for his film, El Topo.”
“For me, Color’d represents a journey where there exists no boundaries, an escape from everyday society into a world where anything seems possible,” says Mangan. “But really, it can be anything you’d like it to be.” As the naked, painted young men and women explore lakes, meadows and mountainsides, Mangan’s lens captures the unfolding—and at times uncomfortable—sense of renewal they experience in this landscape of utter possibility. Uncomfortable, because the paint has also inked over their very identities, until all that remains are blank—if bright—canvases on which they are free to redefine themselves.
Color’d is published by Dashwood Books, the cover of the 2011 Vice Photo Issue and was on exhbit in November, 2011 at Country Club Projects, Los Angeles. It is a follow-up to Mangan’s 2010 project, Winter’s Children, which was a celebration of the pure, naked joy that burns at the heart of snowboarding. First exhibited at Milk Gallery in New York, Winter’s Children was initially published by powerHouse books. The Winter’s Children book is included in the Artist’s Books at MoMA and the MCA Chicago, and was on exhibit from September 1, 2011 – November 1, 2011 at Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, Greece. ”
Song: Entierro Del Primer Juguete – by Alejandro Jodorowsky