In his photographic works, Baldessari uses the symbolic associations ascribed to colors as a signifying barometer of cultural and psychological meanings. Six Colorful Tales is a series of episodes — including Caught Red Handed (Shelley), Feeling Blue (Diane), and Apoplectic Violet (Christine) — in which six women speak about pivotal incidents from their pasts. Each woman is seated against the same neutral backdrop; Baldessari tints the image according to the emotional content of the stories. The hue of the background immediately shades the viewer's response to the teller and their tale, demonstrating the inherent power of color to evoke emotional associations and tone. Each woman recounts bizarre, often startling events in her life with a matter-of-fact inflection that lends a deadpan, surreal humor to the narratives.
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