Live Colorfully

Praca Cantao within the Santa Marta favela in Rio is a place that many may have overlooked at one time, but with an artistic touch, the neighborhood is now bursting with color. The project that began in 2010 with Dutch artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn has become a movement of color. With every brushstroke, Favela Painting brightens communities, brings job opportunities, offers hope and instills a sense of pride.

From Rio to the streets of Philadelphia, the paintings are transforming architectural landscapes with rainbow-hued designs. From a boy flying a kite in Rio, to plaid prints, to geometric shapes, the paintings turn the buildings into standing works of art that can be experienced by each passerby. 
Why have these projects have been so powerful? Is it the jobs they brought to communities? Is it the community involvement in the painting process? 

Prada Cantao in Rio, 2010 

I’d like to think that part of the project’s success is a result of the colors. Colors like yellow, pink and green brighten the exterior walls as they depict various shapes and forms. It’s hard not to feel optimistic when surrounded by cheerful colors like these. 

The bright color blocking techniques on the CarolinaHerrera Spring 2018 runway gives a similar visual message as the Favela paintings. Bright hues of yellow are paired with coral and blue. 

German Avenue in Philly

Stripes move brightly across the body in coral, blue and white.

Varying shades of blue create visual interest and suggest texture when paired with one another.
Pablo Picasso once said, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” Picasso was onto something, as research has shown that color has the power to affect a person’s mood. Cool colors like blue and green evoke a sense of calm. Warmer colors like pink and orange can bring a sense of warmth and comfort.

The Favela paintings and Herrera designs pair cool and warm colors, creating a visual presentation that is at once calm, bright and hopeful. The buildings and dresses prove that color has the power to communicate and create an impact through the senses. 
How will you embrace color this season?

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