operation rainbow brains

August 22, 2012



before i broke up with facebook these pictures kept popping up on my news feed that were very intriguing. i found out they were from a friend's work from high school + that is all i will say about this individual.

operation rainbow brains, better known as ORB, consists of two oak cliff artists going by the names of orange william + blue vesta. 


when i asked orange william to write a little bit about this project, she sent me this interview they had recently done for an oak cliff community blog. 

What was the idea behind starting this operation?

Orange William: For a long time, my artwork has involved trees...usually dead or ones with elements of decay. I found a large fallen branch one day off Ft. Worth Avenue, and knew I had to make something with it.  I was originally inspired by Indian Holi Powder that I had in my studio, which led to the use of chalk pastels, as they have a higher level of pigmentation. I stripped the branch of its bark, and put the pastels on the branch. The project then remained outside my studio, as I was unsure of where to take it from there.

Blue Vesta: Being a fellow artist myself, I had always admired her artwork, but was especially appreciative of the rainbow branch and what a presence it had. I think through our frequent discussions about our art in general, it became a collective conclusion that we had to take this particular visual to the public, and so we did.

How many people are involved and would you mind sharing their names or is this more of an underground operation? Are you all local artists?

Orange William: There are two of us. We both work as artists in Oak Cliff.

Blue Vesta: if you live and socialize in Oak Cliff you could probably figure out who we are, though we'd like to keep it anonymous since this is more about the art than ourselves.

Why the rainbow? Is the rainbow the only thing you tag?

Orange William: I chose the rainbow partially due to its universal appeal. It is easily recognized as something beautiful. Its use is important in this project because of its extreme and obvious insistence on beauty, perhaps even to the point of silliness or absurdity.

Blue Vesta: Neither of us would put this in the category of "tagging" or "graffiti"; more so public art, or street art.  We tend to do chromatic variations, but always color. You'll never see "ORB" written anywhere.

What materials do you use on the trees and how long does it typically stay?

Blue Vesta: Chalk pastels, and spray fixative. Depending on natural elements like rain or sun, they can last up to six weeks or more in ideal conditions.

Orange William: The rainbows' impermanence is important to me. They are designed to disappear. A little bit of the project is about practicing loss for me...loss of control, or maybe even learning to appreciate something you love without attachment to its longevity.

What areas are your target?

Orange William: Oak Cliff for now. When I moved to the area two years ago, I was struck by the abundance of broken trees along the sidewalks. I made sketches of them for a long time before finally figuring out the ORB solution with Vesta.

Blue Vesta: We initially focused on Oak Cliff because we both live here.  But overall I think Oak Cliff is the ideal location to begin because of the community, in that it's the kind of place to notice and appreciate this kind of thing. And it clearly does.

Have you ever received a negative response?

Blue Vesta:  This is a fairly new project, and the overall response has been positive.  We've even had people from the neighborhood approach us and join us.

Orange William: This project is also about community enrichment. We are thrilled to have neighborhood support, and encourage anyone who sees us at work to stop by and help out.

What plans do you have for this Operation?

Blue Vesta: We'd ideally like to expand to the greater Dallas area, and have support from both the art and local communities.



if you are in the dallas area, i would definitely recommend driving around oak cliff to find all of their art. 
if you are not in dallas please go check out their Facebook page + tumblr


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