Global Village

Colors of America

Tell us about the colors of America project- What does it mean to you? Is it creative, social, political.

This project started three years ago when I moved back home to Oklahoma after being away for over 20 years. I never envisioned myself moving back and, honestly, due to the political climate in the country, I wasn’t super stoked to be here. I felt like a fish out of water and was frustrated and consumed by the political ideals that surrounded me.

How has the last few years with Covid, social justice movement and the last presidency made you view something as simple and yet loaded as color in America?

I started feeling like a negative Nancy and decided I needed to connect back to my roots and discover the similarities that I have with people instead of focusing on our differences. I wasn’t working a ton due to Covid, so I grabbed my camera and hit the road visiting rural communities.

I fell in love with the architecture, hand written signs, retail stores on Main Street,  and the random quirkiness that I would find where I’d least expect it. Being in the fashion industry for 20+ years sparked a love for color palettes and all things design. I loved putting together collections and creating color stories each season. I think this is why I am drawn to photographing the different colors of the road.

Often, people would stop me and ask what I was doing and more times than not, it would lead to a 30 minute conversation about the history of the town and the people in it. I started relating to the stories and found myself being inspired by them. It made me quit looking at people as conservative and liberal and made me realize that most people are somewhere in the middle.

I wanted to discover the beauty of these communities as well as explore what makes these areas unique. It’s been an artistic mission in capturing light and color that has, for me, bridged many of the disparate pieces of ourselves and our world.

Darin Combs is a Fashion Industry Veteran who has over 20+ years in the business. In addition to having co-owned his own menswear store Armitage & McMillan, he has been a menswear buyer and a Sales Manager for The Brooklyn Circus and MOSCOT NYC. He is a street photographer who currently resides in Oklahoma City, OK