Black and white creates a strange dreamscape that color never can. – Jack Antonoff
The episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in in which the the noted chef, author, and documentarian explored the epicurean delights of Rome is a cinematographic delight.According to Bourdain, it also “violated all the conventional wisdom about making television.”
Filmed in black and white, the episode stands proud not just for what it shows, but for what it obfuscates and leaves to the imagination of the viewer. Parallels can be drawn to the examination of design in print.
““Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.“ — Joel Sternfeld
There was an initial temptation to amass a stylish grouping of rugs and digitally convert the images to black and white—and the unmentioned grays which accompany the form. That approach lost favor in lieu of one more nuanced, one requiring a more deft colorist, one which examines the design of rugs—minimal, maximal, or otherwise—free of the mood altering effects of color. These are carpets designed in a palette limited to black and white. This can be a challenging endeavor. Yet for those which succeed, the results are indeed often dreamlike.
“I look at graphic design as communication, meaning that the work has to have a vibe to connect to the viewer or perceiver. I make a black and white drawing and then add color digitally, bringing in a contemporary pattern to the composition to create a vibrance.“ — John Van Hamersveld