Tag Archives: Western culture

All About the Color Red – Sensational Color!

www.segmation.comHow do you feel when you gaze at a large red Rothko painting, spend time in a room with regal red wallpaper, or see a stop sign? While the color red carries different meanings depending on its context, the body’s biological response is the same: red can raise both your pulse and your blood pressure. Additionally, red can even make you feel hungry by increasing your body’s metabolism – which is why many restaurants use the color red in their logos and decor!

Red is the longest visible light wave, ranging from light pinks to deep crimsons that have a wavelength between 610 and 780 nm. Our modern word “red” comes from the Old English word rēad. This warm, eye-catching color has strong meanings that tap into the heart of various human emotions and experiences, depending on the specific context in which it is found.

www.segmation.comFor instance, in Western culture, red can signify anger and aggression (as in “blood red” or “a face that turns red with anger”), but it can also denote love, lust and passion (from red roses to the red-light district). It also functions as a strong warning color that represents danger or emergencies.

On the other hand, the color red in China is related to happiness and good fortune. In both China and India, red is the traditional color for wedding dresses. In Africa however, red is associated with death and mourning.

Red is one of the earliest pigments used by our prehistoric ancestors, who made red ochre pigment from clay to paint the walls of caves. Red pigments have been created from several surprising sources, such as crushed cochineal insects used to make carmine red. Madder lake derives from the roots of the madder plant, while vermilion was made from powdered mineral cinnabar, which is a red mercury ore. These days, most red artists’ pigments are created synthetically in factories, including hues such as poppy red, cadmium red, rose, alizarin crimson, and quinacridrone magenta.

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Read more Segmation blog posts about Art:

Light Creates Space, Color, and Perception

Red and Green are an Unlikely Pair

Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

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The Body as a Canvas

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=body+painting&iid=9620363″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9620363/2010-daegu-international/2010-daegu-international.jpg?size=500&imageId=9620363″ width=”380″ height=”570″ /]

Ever since humans discovered they could make marks with clay, mud, and other natural pigments, body painting has had its place in human culture. Tribal cultures around the world initially painted their skin for ritual purposes and camoflauged themselves for hunting, traditions that many extant tribes continue to this day. In modern times, body painting has taken on a more decorative tone in Western cultures, such as face-painting at Christmas and Chanukah and football matches. Some artists have even elevated body painting to a fine art form that is celebrated at international body painting festivals such as the one held in Daegu, South Korea where the photo above was taken.

Body painting is a temporal form of art; before long, the paint will either wear off or be washed away. This fleeting characteristic of body painting is also part of its charm, allowing people to temporarily adorn their bodies as part of a costume, to make a statement, or to alter their appearance as a form of self-expression.

On a broader level, you could also consider applying makeup, dyeing hair, and painting fingernails and toenails as mainstream forms of body art in modern Western culture. In each case, pigment is applied to the body as a temporary decoration that will eventually fade, chip or wash off. Other common modern applications of body paint include soldiers who camouflage themselves with earthy colors before heading into combat, just like their ancient ancestors, as well as clowns and other types of performers such as professional wrestlers whose painted faces are an important part of their appearance.

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