Tyler Rowland wears all pink. Not just occasionally. Non-stop.

More specifically, the Cal Arts second-year graduate art student has worn the rosy hue since May 16, 2002. For almost a year, pink has been his uniform, a long-running performance-art display of pinkness Rowland calls the Artist’s Uniform.

"I went to Catholic school and wore a uniform from kindergarten through eighth grade," says the bespectacled 24-year-old. "And then I had a dress code in an all-boys high school. I’m playing off the idea of a uniform. But I’m the only one who’s wearing it. It contradicts the idea of the uniform in a group. I feel that art has social value and can really make a cultural critique," he continues. "So while I’m being fashionable, I am making a point about a commodity fetish and being materialistic."

If reaction is the goal, then Rowland gets it in spades. "I’m calling attention to myself because I’m wearing pink in the world where normally, you see people in all brown, blue, white or even green. Rarely in yellow, chartreuse or magenta. It’s definitely a bright color. I had this one guy in West Hollywood sing out of his car window, ‘Pink pants, pink pants, Oh I love you, Pink Pants.’ I had another guy ask me if a woman made me do it."

Why pink? It’s a question Rowland fields every day. "I feel very comfortable in pink," he says. "I used to wear it a lot, and it was the color that I equated with comfort."

Comfort, maybe. But it looks like a considerable amount of work. Rowland painstakingly removes color and re-dyes every piece of clothing he owns. On a recent afternoon, he opened the closet door of an on-campus art studio to reveal an impressive array of rose-colored tones. There’s a pair of faded pink camouflage shorts that would make Fred Segal buyers swoon and a white Prada man’s suit covered 475 times with Rowland’s own pink lipstick kiss marks (Neutrogena, he offered). His obsession even trickles down to pink-dyed Gap underwear and socks, all identified with his own label: Artist’s Uniform.As of May, Rowland says he might just stop wearing pink. It’s not that he is weary of the attention or the upkeep. It’s just that his next project looms large. "I’m giving members of the faculty money to buy my clothes so they get to make the decision on what I wear," he explains. "It’s the opposite of wearing all pink. I thought of having my mother choose all my clothes, but I’ve already done that. I’m interested in giving up control. My girlfriend has a problem with it, because she wants to decide, too."

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