[Editor's Note: Chris Roberson is our artist of the month for October, and he's agreed to share details from his art-making process with Country Life readers. If you've ever wondered how an artist makes decisions about things like color, Chris is here for you. Read on for his enlightening break-down of art that uses color — or lack of color — to its advantage.]
Last year I saw Richard Serra’s drawing retrospective at the Met. His massive compositions are made by melting what are essentially black crayons into a large clump and applying a thick, solid texture to the surface. Standing in front or between his drawings gave me the concurrent feeling of being pulled and pushed from the image. The weight and gravity that these drawings emit were forces that I had been trying to unearth in my own work, and I returned home with a couple of challenges. How can I make color a more active and fluid part of my process? And also, how can I utilize the strength of black in new ways?
With these prismatic struggles in mind, here are five pieces that I believe use the limitations of black and white to their advantage, and five pieces that I think employ color in equally effective ways: