by Allan Kliger
So the first you need to know is that I’m color blind.
Apparently 7% of all men are color blind, but I think I may be in a league all to myself. Red/green, blue/green and lots in between. Sometimes I have no idea what I see compared to what you, or most people, see. Sort of explains why I shoot mostly in black & white, but color is color. There’s something magical about color. If there wasn’t, our world wouldn’t be in color. Flowers, birds, trees in autumn, it’s all a spectacle. Just a little different kind of spectacle for me.
For me to “see” color, it has to be vivid, Real vivid. In your face vivid sometimes. Give you an example here. On canoe trips (I’m Canadian, eh) – that’s where you’re in the wilds, all your belongings in your canoe as you paddle from lake to lake, you often have to “portage” – or carry – your gear and canoe along a trail as you go from one lake to the next. Sometimes you know where the trailhead is, the start of the portage, from a map. Other times you just have to look for the portage sign to know where to land your canoe and get started. The portage sign is pretty easy to spot. Most often it’s a bright red, or yellow, or orange sign. Real bright. Electric bright. Bright enough so that in a blinding rainstorm, when the heavens are opened up and the rain is driving at you sideways, you can still see the sign like a lighthouse beacon, waving you in to seek shelter from the storm. Unless you’re me that is. If you’re me, it’s all just pretty. The trees, the leaves, the birds, the clouds. You get the drift. I just ain’t gonna see that damn portage sign so I better make sure I either know where it is beforehand or I’m with someone who isn’t color blind like me.
Or the time I bought my first navy double breasted blazer. I had just graduated law school (a lifetime ago, it seems) and like any aspiring young lawyer (actually, I wasn’t very aspiring, I just liked the education and the mental sparring of arguing the law) the first thing I had to buy to fit into the fancy “eat or be eaten” crowd was a sharp navy blazer. So off I went to a local haberdasher. Turns out the salesman saw me coming from a mile away. You see what he sold me turned out to be a green blazer. Yup, definitely not navy.
Apparently it was halucious. And, to make it worse, you can appreciate that all the pants I bought to go with what I thought was a navy blazer just didn’t go with that green blazer. You think someone would have told me. You think I would have noticed the strange looks at the office, but nada, nope, no one said a word. Until one day one of my buddies, Richard Hoffman, stops by my apartment for a visit. I can still hear him knocking at my door. I can still see him barrelling past me as I let him in. I can still see him racing to my closet, grabbing that damn green blazer and, still pushing me out of his way, running down the apartment hallway straight to the incinerator chute where he proceeded to hurl my beautiful and treasured blazer down with glee. I was speechless. Why would anyone do that to my beautiful new navy double breasted blazer, I thought? And in between his fits of hysterical laughter, he explained it to me.
So, that’s what it’s like to be me. It’s all good. I love color. It’s explosive, sensational, mind blowing, breathtaking and more. And this is what color looks like to me. People, Portraits, my version of Landscapes, all as I see them… Hope you enjoy my images.