Work above by Byron Kim as shown at the MOMA in 2008.
Today I walked to and from my Clinton Hill apartment to Atlantic Center. About a twenty-minute walk. On any normal day it is a most convenient commute that I enjoy by foot. Today was not a normal day. It is never a normal day the first scorching hot day of the year in New York City. As I walked, I momentarily forgot that I had chopped off my hair that used to cover my neck, but the sun quickly reminded me that I had forgotten sunscreen, even on my face, a ritual I rarely forget. I thought about all the skin tones my body might endure during the time of this walk. My Irish freckles were becoming more apparent before my very eyes to a darker more prominent brown. My shoulders a rosy shade of pink. I know it's shade by the feeling of it before I even see it, when I raise my arm and the shoulder skin wrinkles and has that tingly and dry feeling, then I know it's pink before I even look at it.
I remembered the painting above that I'd seen at the MOMA two years ago by Byron Kim which consists of 265 panels of color - an exploration of one persons skin colors. This stunning study begs of us never to categorize or label ourselves by skin color alone, we are simply much more than meets the (untrained) eye. However, I'm equipped with sunscreen for tomorrow, in the advent of more pretty, but uncomfortable colors.