Optickal Allusion

“Optickal Allusion,” began as a series of vignettes that I was writing in order to explore my relationship with my father, one mediated by our differences of desires regarding literary and visual art. In thinking about his assertion that all art begins with three concepts, “line, color, and design,” I began to consider the rhetorical work of this simple statement. How might I, a writer, reimagine the place and work of line, color and design as relevant to both the writer and the visual artist? How did my relationship with my father simultaneously both distance me from, and bring me into closer relationship with my identity as an artist and queer person?

Taking more than two years to write, this piece brings into juxtaposition literary nonfictional scenes and quotations from famous volumes on color theory, two forms of alphabetic text that are set into the form of a color wheel. In this way, I work to explore the ways that color theory invites me to reposition and re-see, perhaps to even repeatedly queer–the work of this father-daughter relationship.

The alphabetic text appeared in print in Water~Stone Review in 2011. The visual piece was created by Liz Olague using Illustrator and was exhibited in 2010 as a part of a Faculty Exhibition at Columbia College Chicago.