VL: I consciously try to make the paint take the place of light because color is light. The only way you can do that is to learn how colors relate to one another. Color is a totally relative factor. By itself it doesn't mean anything much except you can name it orange or red, but it's important to know what happens if you put such and such next to it. You can only learn that by doing it. You learn a little bit by theory. You learn about simultaneous contrast and the fact that complementary colors fortify each other, that green makes red look redder and that even adjacent colors tend to move apart because you're already looking at one color and get immediately exhausted with that color and it calls out the opposite.
What led me to this use of color are two things. One, I learned about cell systems in high school; I was very lucky that a woman gave a lecture in our auditorium and she held a light bulb and lit it. She put all the lights out and had us stare into the light bulb and close our eyes afterward. She began telling us what was happening in the aftereffects. When you closed your eyes the color changed and eventually disappeared. That sort of phenomenon has to do with the way simultaneous contrast works, because the eye gets tired and sees the opposite. More importantly, many years later I came upon a book by a psychologist, David Katz. He wrote a book called “The World of Color.” He experimented with trying to find the difference between what are reflected colors, the colors that we see every day around us, and film color.
Film color refers to colors that have no surface, or an indeterminate surface. Or that has a spongy quality. The best example of that is on a clear day like today, look up at the sky and you'll see pure blue, but it has no surface.
See complete interview at https://hamptonsarthub.com/2016/04/19/talking-with-vincent-longo-discusses-pollock-neolithic-abstraction-and-working-from-the-center/