Song for Primary Colors


Video, Music & Text: written, recorded, edited & performed by Tommy Becker.
website –
soundtracks –

This work is about the death of color in contemporary art and my attempts as a teacher to resurrect its power in the classroom. The video pays tribute to three modern artists, Picasso, Rothko and van Gough, each of whom is renowned for engaging a particular hue during their lives.

Pablo Picasso spent four years in a predominantly blue palate after his good friend Carlos Casagemas shot himself at Paris café. Mark Rothko, who took his life at the age of sixty-six, struggled to tame the color red throughout many of his most famous works including, “Four Darks in Red”. Vincent van Gough became infatuated with the color yellow while surrounded by its prominence in the landscape of Arles, France. It was here that Vincent completed some of his most famous works including his depictions of sunflowers.

Public Domain footage from Prelinger Archives. Thank you to my students for participating!!

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Date: June 13, 2019

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