Culture – Watch Color Blind Artist Daniel Arsham See in Full Color for the First Time Ever

We’ve covered Daniel Arsham in an earlier post here on The Journal and it’s safe to say that we’re massive fans. In more ways than one, he’s a superstar. He did stage design for and toured with Merce Cunningham, probably the most inventive figure in modern dance, he collaborated with Pharrell, and Public School tapped him to create their runway for Men’s Fashion Week. Oh, and his film Future Relic 02 happened to star James Franco.

Offering a glimpse into his personal life, Semaine has just released a film that documents the artist’s first-ever experience seeing color with his new EnChroma glasses – just after the artist debuted his first solo show in New York, his first sculptural work to be shown in color.


“Color blindness doesn’t mean that I don’t see color. It means that the range of color is drastically reduced, especially in low lighting scenarios or at times where you might have colors that are close to each other on the color spectrum,” he told Semaine. “So what these lenses do is refract the light in a different way so it separates the colors further apart on the color spectrum. It’s not actually curing it; what it’s doing is tricking your eye into reading more variation.”


He continued, “So I had never really thought about the idea that being colorblind is part of my work or anything like that, I just selected these things – these works are white because the wall is white. That basketball is that color because it’s made of volcanic ash, it was more about the material quality.”

However, once Daniel was able to see this broad spectrum of color, he says he started to look at similar materials like volcanic ash but that were in color – much like his blue calcite crystal sculptures currently on display at Galerie Perrotin.

The big question is how this might impact Daniel’s work moving forward? “Maybe I’ll continue in white, but it may be like a rainbow world in ten years. I have no idea. I think it’s really about paying attention to materials.”

After checking out the video above, make sure you head over to Semaine’s website for an in-depth interview with the artist.