Cassandra Ott paints rainbows on top of found vintage photographs: families at the beach, couples and individuals posing stiffly, houses in the landscape. They enchant, far beyond what the application of spectrums of color ought to do, given their appeal to elementary school girls, my seven-year-old daughter included. Rainbows may be the single most commonplace of marvels. They appear in the sky after a storm, or when sunlight shines through the lawn sprinkler, and we all learned in science class how the mechanics work. And yet, who can resist them? They are wonder, pure and simple. When Ott applies their six bands of color so that they seem to burst out of a black-and-white lakefront or off the top of a children’s teepee, from the heads of a group of women graduates or out the hands of a child digging in the sand, she recognizes the potential for glory inherent in daily life.
—Lori Waxman 11/13/16 10:43 AM