With her electric series Outside the Lines, photographer Ramona Rosales elevates the everyday to the realm of high drama by staging eye-catching moments saturated in color. Through the course this witty narrative, a woman, seen only below the knees, undergoes a series of domestic blunders that are both comical and tragic. Each photograph is shot after the fact, as if to chronicle not the accidents themselves but their psychical impact upon our protagonist and her home.
Through a masterful use of color, Rosales plays with our perception, imbuing each still image with a vibrating, buzzing afterglow. Opposite colors create a visual tension as a green wall is juxtaposed with magenta pumps, a blue curtain with orange stockings. At the same time, harmonizing colors seem pull across the frame toward one another.
The wonderfully hectic blocks of color allow the photographs to flatten into a more two-dimensional plane and veer into the aesthetic we normally associate with collage, recalling great works of mid-century pop art and advertising. Unlike those perfected— and sometimes ironical— works espousing the pleasures of modern home, Rosales’s endearing subject appears to inhabit an indoor landscape ripe with tension and anxiety.
For Rosales, color isn’t an objective means of triggering an optical response; instead, she hopes to tap into our subjective memories and associations. Some of the narratives are drawn from her own life experiences, remembered incidents from which she incorporates at least two colors. Both humorous and delightfully suspenseful, Outside the Lines invites us to perceive the dynamic vitality of even the most banal of life’s many moments. Outside the Lines opens July 10 and runs through August 24, 2014 at De Soto Gallery.