Wow, you really hit your head on that cellar door coming in here. 2022? Still in a global pandemic? NFT? Y2K jeans on Depop? What are you talking about???

At the end of each year since the new millennium, one, sometimes two, color(s) are chosen by a team of trend forecasters at the headquarters of Pantone to reflect what is happening in global culture, and to “express what people are looking for that color can hope to answer in the following year.” One of the two Colors of the Year for 2021 was vibrant yellow, or PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating. Remember all the yellow you saw everywhere?

More interesting perhaps than the occurrence or proclamation of a trend is its before-and-after, and the relationship it holds to our perceptions of time. To trot alongside the zeitgeist, to obey the commands of the colors of the year, is for many the baseline of cultural awareness. Anticipating the moment is an ephemeral power; there is often a desperation to claiming primacy as stampedes thrash forward. Even the Dadaists recognized the instability of the avant-garde. True power, I think, lies in the understanding that moments can evaporate into the ether, or crystallize into funny little emblems. If I decided, in 2021, to show a bright yellow painting at the outset of
2022, it will be right on time, because I’ve already planned to do it, in that future and also belated present.

There is an art to being late (I should know) and a joy in mining new ideas or diverging from expectations of timelines, both cultural and personal. To utilize the past to flourish on the present and twist the future is a balancing act over the pits of derivation, a choreography of control and a manipulation of measurement. The way we stretch and express time is a choice split by circumstances and reactions, records and recollections. You try a new pen: what do you write? “A B C D. . .” or, “April is the cruelest month”?

Date: January 14 — February 122022