ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford native Brett Whitacre is a professional muralist. He’s also color blind.
On Friday, he was granted the opportunity to see his artwork in color for the first time, thanks to special EnChroma glasses.
The glasses use special lenses to shift the color spectrum so individuals who suffer from red-green colorblindness can see a wider range of hues.
“Wow. Wow, I’m really drawn to the reds and oranges,” Whitacre said after putting on the glasses for the first time in front of his Loves Park mural, which he painted, at 5545 North Second Street.
“I mean, I’ve always said that the colors look good to me, they just may look different to you, but, yeah, this is very different!” he exclaimed.
One in 12 men and 1 in 200 women are color blind. The world appears gray, dull, and washed out, but some colors are indistinguishable from others. Purple and blue look the same; red appears brown; pink is gray; green looks brownish or gray.
“I thought [peanut butter] was green, forever,” Whitacre said.
As a professional painter, Whitacre says he has struggled with color choices and organizing colors, but said the EnChroma glasses will make his artwork and clean-up process a little easier.
“My perception of color has always been the same. I think colors do look nice, but this shows me that they’re even nicer,” he said. “It’s not like I couldn’t be an artist because I was color blind, because it’s happened, I’m here. But this, I think this could accelerate me, in a way.”