Bianco Nero Gallery Archive Project

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Bianco Nero Gallery is situated in the picturesque market town of Stokesley, near the North York Moors National Park. The gallery is centrally located, just off the High Street and occupies a spacious and light Georgian town house.

We have a programe of changing exhibitions showcasing the work of both local and nationally acclaimed artists from a variety of disciplines including painting, printmaking, glass and ceramics, sculpture and jewelry. The exhibition spaces are on the ground and first floors, while the second floor houses limited edition prints, cards and specialist art books.

A bespoke picture framing service is also available with a wide selection of moldings as well as ready made frames in stock. All framing is undertaken to the highest conservation standards.

 

The Use Of Black And White As An Artistic Resource

 

The use of white, black and grayscale, which can now be a great ally when creating a dramatic and mysterious environment, was a technical limitation at the beginning of its time. The cinema did not begin to record in color until 1929 and its use was not popularized until the 60s. The comic uses black and white to reduce expenses, and the first video game was a ball and two white bars on a monochrome background.

 

However, painters, who have generally had access to color since its inception, used black and white as the default expression method. The lack of color in the scene represented the loss of something essential, used to represent loneliness, loss or pain. Others chose this absence of color to fully demonstrate their abilities when it comes to handling volume and light in their works.

 

When Monochromia Ceased To Be A Technical Obligation, It Became A Powerful Resource.

 

Film directors also took advantage of its limitation to also exploit the image to the fullest. After World War I, great German directors were carried away by the post-war pessimism in their country, emerging German Expressionist Cinema, which accentuated its enigmatic, macabre, sinister and morbid character, giving way to a more complex lighting as a means expressive. This can be seen in works such as Metropolis or Dr. Caligali's Cabinet, which have been great references when it comes to using light.

 

Black and white art in video games

As creators of video games we have to keep in mind the aesthetics of our games, the hows and the whys of their use. We are going to analyze some examples that will help us to see if we want to use black and white as the main artistic thread of our work.

 

There is a genre where the gray scale always stands out: horror games. The darkness evokes fear of the unknown and not knowing that there is beyond what is lit by that small candle that holds the protagonist, tension is vital. This use of light and darkness drinks a lot of the black and white horror classics.

 

In the movie The cabinet of Dr. Caligali, a great contrast of light and shadow is used, so that the light falls on those elements on which you want to give a greater touch of unreality, such as the faces of the characters, giving you a feeling of spectral appearance This makes the light more than a decorative element, but it increases or goes out highlighting certain actions or emotions of the characters.

 

Limbo, despite not being a horror game per se, uses the techniques of the games of this genre to create a mysterious and dark universe. The intermingled gray scales evoke that sun hidden in the darkness that would illuminate the scene if it weren't for the fog that grows throughout the forest. The Limbo stage is always lit, but never colorful. That spotlight in the background, in addition, gives contrast to the main figures from which the action is formed, which allows the player to focus on what is really important.

 

The latter is a resource that is also used in games like Unworthy, where the gray scale allows highlighting the main level of the stage, the figure of the protagonist and his enemies. With only a few colors the information about the space, the key elements and the environment are clear.

 

Black and white in retro art for video games

In the introduction we have highlighted black and white as the only option in the first years of video games. If we know anything about the indie players, it is that many still have a great love for the great classics of their childhood.

 

It is something that developers know and share, so many decide to use that melancholy as the central thread of their game. White, black and 8 bits is a combination that will always evoke those first years. Although the time mechanics of Minit was a revolution, his art reminded those horse games between the Atari and the NES.

 

Retro art in black and white as in the video game Minit

 

Many developers opt for retro aesthetics, emulating the first consoles. In the image we see an example of the video game Minit.

 

Red as an ally of black and white

There is a third habitual guest when it comes to using the gray scale: the color red. We already talked about him in the article Theory of the red color applied to video games, but this time we will see it as part of this combination in the games.