Cyan Magenta Yellow Black

17 August 2018. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
Reading time: 2 min  
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Revisit the principles of four-colour printing, with inks and ashes. Fifteen “numerical paintings”.

Mechanical colour reproduction does not use the same primary colours as in painting. There are only three: Red, Green and Blue. On computer monitors, the addition of proportions of red, green and blue lights reproduces any (or almost) color of the light spectrum. This is called “additive synthesis”. But on the other hand, if you want to reproduce colours by printing on white paper, the white already containing all the colours, you have to subtract instead of adding. The complementary colours of the three primary colours: Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are used. The addition of their proportions on the white paper reconstitutes, by subtraction, the red-green-blue proportions. This is what is called “subtractive synthesis”, also called “four-colour printing” (CMYK - K for black, which is also necessary).

For this series of fifteen “digital paintings” I used cyan, magenta and yellow inkjet inks, combined with ash to make black (CMYK...) on 220g paper sheets of 65x50cm. These “manual prints” were intended to be photographed digitally, therefore in Red, Green and Blue!

I call these objects, which have become immaterial, “digital paintings” because traditional art techniques (paper, ink, ashes) are mobilized in order to be photographed. These images are therefore not reproductions of existing paintings, the technique of manufacturing the paintings is intrinsic to its digital purpose.

Thus, the very subject of this series is the question of the conversion between the two colorimetric spaces, RGB and CMYK, which are essentially different in nature but consubstantially related, with difficulties, because colors existing in one do not exist in the other and vice versa. Hence an “impossible communication”, exciting to explore.

Portfolio
Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 1. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 2. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 3. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 4. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 5. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 6. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 7. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 8. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 9. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 10. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 11. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 12. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 13. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 14. © Benoît Labourdette. Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - 15. © Benoît Labourdette.