Yves Klein (1928-1972) was one of those artists whose work I didn’t quite get when I first saw it. I can remember standing in a museum in NYC as a teenager looking down at one of his huge monochrome paintings and feeling genuinely confused. It was exhibited on the ground as opposed to a wall, looked royal blue but appeared 100x more vivid. Now because I was a teenager who trusted no one I assumed that Yves Klein was making fun of art and me and everyone looking at this thing. I then decided to read up on this trickster whereupon I discovered that he and a chemist/paint supplier friend had actually invented the hue of blue he made his art with, called “International Klein Blue” (or IKB for short). I also discovered his other work which included similar explorations using pink and gold, paintings where he employed naked bodies as brushes and sculptures made from sponges saturated with his crazy, jarring blue. And dammit to hell, it turned out I actually really liked Yves Klein and his big blues. His art had triggered that irritating sensation of totally hating something upon initial exposure to it not because you actually do, but because you are pissed off that it’s upset your physical chemistry which you believe yourself to be the boss of. I resented him because he rattled something. Come to think of it, I remember having similar feelings about Axl Rose (yes, true).
Decades have passed since that first viewing and Yves Klein blue haunts me to this day. It’s frequently utilized as my phone and laptop wallpaper. It is the color of my freakin’ laundry bags. And one of my favorite hoodies. I may secretly wish the sky itself was IKB.
And now please enjoy the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new music that has crossed our path over recent days. There are epics, tearjerkers and some dirty pop ‘n’ roll and all of ’em are as gorgeous and vivid as Yves blues. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.
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