Color Wheel is a series in which we identify a trending color in art, and post a daily image that illustrates its popularity. This week’s color is all-purpose pink.
Most of the colors we pick aren’t really trends. We know. But so long as someone’s going to put five things of the same color in a row and declare it a movement, it may as well be us. The above image, from “Drunk Tank Pink” (up now in Chelsea), definitely counts. “Shrink It Pink It” (opening this weekend in Brooklyn), counts double. Plus, I saw the word “PINK” on some sweatpants earlier. Bam, trend.
You want a real trend? Here’s a real trend: Prison. Prison is skyrocketing in popularity. And what goes with prison? Actually, pink. When prisoners wear pink, they stab each other less, and recidivism declines. So what’s wrong with you, yellow fellow? What, plants too loud for you? At least you’re not being stabbed. Maybe he’s being affected by the strength-sapping powers of the color pink:
Before painting the experimental holding cell pink, duty intake officers remarked to the prison administrator CWO Baker that hostile behavior by new inmates was daily a “whale of a problem”.
After 223 days of continuous use as a temporary holding facility for new confinees, the results have been impressive. A memorandum to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Law Enforcement and Corrections Division, Washington, D.C., written 156 days after the use of the pink holding cell stated: Since initiation of this procedure on March 1, 1979, there have been no incidents of erratic or hostile behavior during the initial phase of confinement. The memorandum went on to state that the new confinees only required a maximum of 15 minutes of exposure to ensure that the potential of violent or aggressive behavior had been reduced. The effect continues for fully thirty minutes after release from the cell! This is enough time to process the new inmate to a permanent cell.
According to Dr. Paul Boccumini, Director of Clinical Services for the San Bernardino County Probation Department, similar results have been reported at their Kuiper Youth Center, a co-educational residential facility for delinquents. Dr. Boccumini states that “the staff report excellent results, with the youngsters’ aggressive behavior diminishing quite rapidly. In fact, it has worked so well that staff must limit their [delinquents'] exposure because the youngsters become too weak.”
—Schauss, A.G. (1979), Tranquilizing Effect of Color Reduces Aggressive Behavior and Potential Violence
This is the kind of color theory we can get behind.