A set of four coasters depicting Da Vinci’s most iconic artwork, the CYMK Mona Lisa is a design that plays with the CMYK subtractive colour system. The four colours are printed as dots on clear acrylic so that when stacked in the correct order the combination bears the expected colour profile. However individual coasters do of course still depict the Mona Lisa when in use, only in monochrome.
The CMYK acronym stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) and is the subtractive colour system used in printers. Interestingly these are the true primary colours — unlike the red, yellow, blue fallacy still taught in schools — and will completely change the way you look at colour mixing.
If viewed from the side, the stack takes an almost holographic 3D appearance, although slightly distorted in terms of colour due to the distance between the dot-printed CMYK layers. But this layered printing also adds a unique sense of depth when viewed from directly above.
It is perhaps a shame that such an overly iconic painting was chosen for this piece. The imagery of the Mona Lisa is so prevalent in culture that it feels more like ‘big sister is watching you’ and personally to me it invokes barely any feeling at all. But I would be very keen to see some other artworks, patterns or even personal photographs depicted in this unique, colour-separated manner.
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