Are they aliens? Giant Smurfs? Not exactly. Think of The Blue Man Group as a concept, with a humanistic view, promoting the colour blue. This performance show is nothing like traditional theater.
Anything Blue review – The Blue Man Group – promoting blue worldwide
What started as the experimental performance of three friends 25 years ago in New York City has become an award-wining collective performing worldwide: the Blue Man Group performs in about twenty cities, from Chicago to Tokyo. The show is based on three mysterious shiny, eccentric, cobalt blue characters. Who really are these blue men?
To start with, they are huge fans of Yves Klein, a blue-obsessed French artist who loved the Ultramarine colour so much, he intensively researched on it, produced series of monochrome paintings and fathered the patented International Klein Blue (IKB).
Chris Wink, one of the founders of the Group, described the Blue Man as “paint from an Yves Klein canvas that just popped off and is now enjoying the world.” The Group’s Artistic Director Michael Quinn explains why their identity revolves around the color blue:
“It represents serenity, calmness. It represents water, the stuff of life. It is neutral, vibrant, and simple. In other words, blue was perfect.”
He adds that Yves Klein deeply influenced their work and that the IKB colour was a natural choice:
“We often imagined the Blue Man literally squeezing off these canvases. In the end while it’s very close to IKB it sometimes tends a bit more towards cobalt blue.”
Source: Sarah Seroussi’s interview of Michael Quinn “the Blue Men Group: promoting the color blue”
The founders: the first blue-faced trio
Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink are three jacks of all trades: performers, writers, musicians and composers. These creative people share a passion for percussion, technology, art and comedy. You could also say they were the perfect trio match, because each of them brings something different to the group.
Stanton is notably famous for his never-before-seen musical instruments inspired by his early job at an industrial hardware store (like the gigantic, multicolored organ on the picture above). His life philosophy is Joseph Campbell’s “Follow Your Bliss” mantra, while he focused on pursuing projects that speak directly to the primal human need: “to create fully, to express fully, to live fully”. Matt Goldman has an entrepreneur spirit that lead him to form the NYC based Blue School, another way for him to follow his passion for learning and education and form a whole tribe of blue men.
The Blue Man Group: a mute, blue human
Their wish behind Blue Man Group was to create a concept and a new language, without words.
For Chris Wink, the language of the Blue Man character is universal: he describes the show as “a classic comedic timing paired with subtle scientific concepts and high art references mixed with populist pleasures.”
In addition, the Blue Men don’t speak. So one major skill they had to learn was how to communicate with their eyes (e.g. share a whole story just with their look, or succeeded in making “wide-eyed innocence”, what had become their famous signature look).
All Blue Men should look alike. The founders insist that they all have the same physical appearance and height: “they must be 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 1 inch tall, and have a “common exoskeletal physicality.“
The word “Man” is important because it echoes the word Human.
For Phil Stanton, the Blue Man project “explores the universal aspects of humanity and what it means to be fully human”.
Read more about the founders of the Blue Man Group
Have a look at the Blue Man Group’s Instagram
Watch the Blue man group warning about the consequences of global warming on our dear blue planet on Youtube
You will also like