I feel odd, existential, half violated, and half excited when someone perceives me exactly how I’d want them to. But I also feel odd, existential, half violated, and half excited when someone perceives me- in my opinion- very wrong because even though perception is relative, it’s weird to think that I could be too. I could depend on certain circumstances and context to be perceived in… several different ways. Reflecting on perception is a recipe for meeting your higher self and raising your energy, even if it isn’t always comfortable. Artist, Rebecca Baruc’s first solo exhibition: The Color of Normal explores exactly that.
When COVID put a halt to Baruc’s career transition into a full time visual artist in 2020, she was left with the beginning of what would adapt into the Color of Normal. Her portraits felt like they were nearly screaming out for more amidst such a life-changing year. In return, Baruc did nothing other than give every single portrait an authentic voice, embracing the fluidity of our new normal.
As you walk through The Color of Normal, you are brought from portrait to portrait, or what I would prefer to call it…muse to muse. Each portrait has a QR code with attached audio of that person answering a range of meditative questions from how they’ve changed to what brings them joy, to what their new normal is. Headphones in, you’re getting this intense glimpse of their (often utterly relatable) inner monologue while looking at this beautiful, lively caricature of them painted by the artist’s perspective. And both are so beautiful. Both are so palpable. Both build so much curiosity.
The exhibit hits the mark for many reasons. Maybe it’s the expressive color and Baruc’s unique use of strokes and shading, making her portraits nearly pop off the paper. Maybe it’s seeing art again in person after so long AND the comfort in feeling connected to these people even though they aren’t there (a lesson we all had to learn without a choice during COVID). Maybe it’s the people Rebecca chose because the exhibit feels like the perfect balance and if any portrait was missing, it would be incomplete. The Color of Normal is an interactive and healing experience centering genuine voices of our generation, brilliantly curated through Rebecca’s eyes.
The Color of Normal will run through July 11th at the Juliet Art House in Pilsen, Chicago. Learn more details on the exhibit, pricing, and availability to view at www.thecolorofnormal.com and keep up with Rebecca Baruc’s art on IG: @rebaruc.