Peer Review by mirkat (United States)

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Growing Up With Color - Artist Statement for NYT Project



    My world became infinitely smaller last spring. I had no school, no graduation, no fourteenth birthday party. The new pace, the COVID-19 lull in my usually busy life, was odd. But not bad. 
    I had time to go outside and play with my three younger sisters. I watched the clouds meander across the stratosphere, spent hours enjoying movies with no climax, and ate dinner without the threat of an impending event hovering over the table. 
    The busy, the bustle, the need to produce and the idea that my identity was based on the quality of my work was suspended from my world for the summer. I did not need to be the best in a classroom or on a court or at a small group. I was home for the indefinite future; confined, quarantined, in a place that did not judge me based on what I could or could not do. It was at home that I stopped doing the same for the people and issues around me.
    On March 23, 2020, dichotomies stopped working for me. Black and white is a convenient worldview when the world is based on snap judgements. I am either good or bad. Smart or stupid. Pretty or ugly. 2020 has been polarized and processed through a dichotomic system engineered for making hard, fast, decisions. Fast decisions don’t work during global pandemics, though.
    The end of dichotomies is where I start to see the color in quarantine.
    My eyes are learning to see the shades of nuance and the strokes of emotion. I have been ecstatic to discover a vibrantly chromatic worldview, one the filter of “too busy” barred me from before.
    I deal with an excessive load of prejudiced and oversimplified news about complicated, world-changing events. Growing up in 2020, it is easy to say because I’m a kid, I don’t need to know. Or act. Or care.
    However, I refuse to believe that chosen ignorance and comfortable prejudice are better than the jarring and messy world of color. Color, while uncomfortable, is necessary to have a complete view, or a full picture. 
    I believe that to truly grow up in 2020, I need to grow with my eyes open.

this is an artists' statement for the NYT growing up in 2020 contest... my question is what does this make you feel? Is it interesting to read? Coherent to follow??? thank you for reading and I appreciate all comments <33
(oh also, the project I made was a black and white collage of different events that have happened during 2020 [think trump/biden campaign posters, BLM posters, small business flyers, mask ads, etc. all in black in white] with a pair of eyes drawn in pink over the collage)(it looks pretty legit :) )

Peer Review

I love how short yet impactful this piece is.

Other than my slight confusion on that one sentence, this project is going to win an award! Beautiful, descriptive writing. I'm sure your artwork is just as good, if not better. One other suggestion: What jarred you awake and made you start to see the color? Was it that quarantine kept going on and on? Was it all of the police brutality and civil unrest? Our despicable president? Global warming? Make this more clear, it would add so much to this piece.

Reviewer Comments

Well done! I love this so much and it really is a great story of personal reflection and realization and stuff like that. Good luck on the contest! <3 <3 <3