MICHELLE MISHINA
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Navajo White

 

Navajo White OC-95 is a paint color by Benjamin Moore, and is decidedly more romantic in name than it is in person. My last apartment was dark and, painted this shade, made the pale yellow beige turn a sickly green when the light of surrounding oak trees filtered past the leaves and windows.

It’d be easy to re-paint, but the landlord emphasized that this was a ‘designer’ color and couldn’t be changed.  So I lived uninspired for several years within those nauseatingly dark walls, until I started noticing cracks in the otherwise pristine coat of paint. The building was shifting, and the adjustments appeared like wrinkles and fault lines beneath the surface.

 

 

 

I expended so much effort keeping the walls out of my view and consciousness that discovering these nuances and tiny imperfections was revelatory.

And so I photographed them. I used my camera to find light and color where there was none available to the naked eye. I studied the shadows and found the strange, subtle ways the limited light changed throughout the rooms. I became familiar with how the darkness slowly shifted throughout the day, finding corners to settle into and expanses of ceiling to reflect its depth. Finally, I found the personality of the space; it wasn’t about light, it was about shadow.