Like Rothko, We Start With Color


by Christian Lozada

In my neighborhood, the city pays Rothko to paint murals around the city. I saw him one morning, with his truck full of paints, quickly mixing a bucket of gray, supposedly yellow, to save the Fresh and Easy from being claimed in a way that protests economics and ownership. You can see his work on my garage door where his rectangular mocha runs the length of the wood above, over the original chocolate. Graffiti, vandalism, defacement, tagging, declaration, whichever way you read it, it is the name of someone who cannot mature in this choked environment.

And Rothko’s horizons are painted across the traces of growth in limited space, over the childish prayer that a name has power to make these crumpling edges static; however, Rothko’s horizons and their poorly paired colors add only to the temporary nature of my neighborhood. They make our names as impermanent as the money in our pockets or as our stay in these apartments, and they subtract from the wait before being tagged, labeled, defaced.

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