Christine Alfery

Posted on March 16 2022


Featured image: Figuring It Out

When I talk about my series “The Middle Is Not Grey,” I frequently mention the polar or binary opposites that are systems of thought or theories or language or concepts that are strictly defined and set off against one another. And then there are those of us who are in the middle of these two opposites. For me I imagine black and white meeting in the middle making the middle grey.

It is not so easy to define the middle, however. Many say that those of us in the middle figure out how to compromise. I visualize compromise as being grey. But I am not grey. Individuals are not a neutral color that blends into everything else. When an individual is asked to compromise on their basic principles and values, they compromise themselves and what they believe in. Why is it that those of us in the middle are always asked to compromise and to help tamper down the extremes, the polar opposites? When there is compromise, today in politics they call it diplomacy, no one is satisfied. Compromise does not lead to a general fulfillment or wholeness. It leads to frustration. Those in the middle who are asked to be all things to all people, I believe end up being nothing to no one and they become paralyzed, unhappy and frustrated.

I don’t see compromise as a solution. Rather, I see respect and value for life and the individual as the solution. We have lost that. We have compromised our values, our lives, our unique, individual selves in the name of compromise. Why just not do any of that and respect life and one another for our differences?
I am not saying we shouldn’t have rules and laws, but I am saying they need to be based on objective reason and not subjective ideologies. Subjectivity belongs to the individual, subjectivity is all about the individuals uniqueness and one-of-a-kindness. Subjectivity should never be painted grey.

I think I have been thinking about “The Middle Is Not Grey” for some time because I seemed to have been painting it for some time. There always seems to be a demarcation line in my work, contrasting colors, and forms

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