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“For thousands of years and across civilizations, color has been used in art to convey meaning and emotion. While each instance of the use of color in history is significant, one man re-imagined the meaning of a single color in the 20th century.
Yves Klein, born in Nice, France in 1928, is known around the world for his revolutionary use of the color blue in his work. The founder of the Nouveau Réalisme movement (considered to be the European counterpart to the famous American Pop Art movement), Klein is renowned for his style of conceptual art, which incorporated painting, sculpture, and performance.
For Klein, blue held special significance. It represented spirituality and religion, the beauty of nature, and the infinite expanse of the universe. As a result of his fascination with blue, Klein went as far as to create his own personal shade. Working with a chemist, Klein invented a vivid shade of ultramarine blue known as International Klein Blue (IKB). While the exact formula was exclusive to Klein, today it inspires the work of interior designers, artists, and other creatives. It also continues to be produced through the Yves Klein estate in Paris, France.
Because of Klein’s fascination with blue, his name and the color are closely linked in the art world. He created a name for himself in the art community of the time with his unconventional style of painting. Today, that name lives on in the legacy Klein created for himself.
There is much we can learn from Klein, but perhaps most importantly: how to establish your personal brand. For advice on branding based on Klein’s work and life, check out this infographic from Invaluable.