Paris, France: RVB Books, 2015
96 pp., 28 x 6 cm., hardcover
Edition size unknown
Produced while in residence at the Museum of Modern Art in Salvador da Bahia, this colour chart book documents the skin pigmentation of forty employees of the museum. Pierre David took photographic scans of 15cm of skin from the back of each member of the installation crew. The scans are presented as a fanned book of swatches, with topless portraits of each on the verso.
The 58-year old French artist moved to Brazil in 2009, and was struck by the variety of skin colours.
“Brazil has a better attitude to skin colour than other developed nations,” he told The Guardian, “There’s no doubt, because the concept of skin colour difference was recognised very early in their history. Now, it even appears on identity documents. In France, it is forbidden to define someone by his colour; in Brazil, that’s not the case. Everyone can claim his skin colour and be proud.”
David also worked with the paint manufacturer Sikkens and to industrially produce each of the men’s skin tones. The forty paint cans were displayed alongside the colour chart, and the museum walls were painted with their colours.
Nuancier is available from the publisher, here, for 28 €.