Kings of Cyan

We've been carrying faces of leaders in our pockets since at least the Ptolemies, closer to our crotches than almost anyone will ever get. I can draw Abraham Lincoln's and George Washington's profiles perfectly from memory - even writing this from Rome, I can feel their diverse American noses under my thumb. Contemporary politicians aim for repetition rather than proximity, pasting their faces on city walls and underpasses, hoping to fix their images in our memories. But printing a poster and minting a coin do not have the same staying power. The dyes in inexpensive CMYK offset printing can be fugitive, with rain and snow and sun tending to swallow the magenta and yellow dyes first. The cyan dyes stay. After a few months, these full-color images look like ghosts of themselves, still standing in some eery twilight, trying less to reach us, and more desperately to just be seen.