Cameron Cottrill

Pablo Picasso said, “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”

Think on that for a second. Apply it to our current season. We are mired in a presidential election that, with each passing day, seems to get more colorful.

How do the rhetoric and endless slog of information get to us — really get to our hearts and minds? Via the very things our writers explore in this special package.

Colors. Design. Movies. Books. Fashion. Theater. They help us organize our thoughts in a very disorganized landscape, and they help us make sense of a world that so often seems to make none.

These stories are not about policy. They’re not about right and wrong. They’re about red and blue, and so much more.

Stephanie Hayes, Times arts and entertainment editor