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Getting to Know Your Colors, pt 1

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Colors affect us. No question there, right? Each hue seems to have a different emotional effect, whether they’re connected to our own history and experience or to something more mystical, the symbolism is profound. Here are some of the more general emblematic uses and symbols for six of the big colors. Be sure to tune into part 2, tomorrow!

1. Green

a) The ancients often used the same words for deep blue, green and steel gray.
b) In Japanese, the same word can be used to say blue or green.
c) Green = money and riches, also growth and prosperity (because of nature/trees)
d) But watch out! Too much money and prosperity makes people green with envy In antiquity, the Hebrew word for envy, qinah, referred to the burning color in the face produced by a deep emotion. The Greeks believed that jealousy was accompanied by an overproduction of bile, lending a yellowish-green pallor to the victim’s complexion. In the seventh century B.C., the poetess Sappho used the word “green” to describe the face of a stricken lover.
e) The most famous such reference and the origin of the term “green-eyed monster” is Iago’s speech in Shakespeare’s Othello: “O! Beware my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
f) Of course, these days green is associated with the movement to clean up the environment. Go green!

2. White

a) Ah, the color of light itself! That’s why it’s always been associated with God, or the local divine power. (Good over evil.)
b) The priests of Jupiter wore white robes.
d) In Egypt, Osiris wore a white tiara.
e) The Greek word for white, aspros, suggests happiness and gaiety.
f) Romans used white chalk to mark auspicious days (and, conversely, black chalk for inauspicious days).
g) But least you think white has only been associated with good, let’s not forget that pallor and blankness can be seen as sinister and, of course, ghosts and phantoms are often depcitetd as white.


3. Black

a) The opposite of innocence might be defilement—black is mourning where white is joy.
b) Black has long been associated with error and annihilation.
c) The Athenian expiatory ship that sailed every year to Crete and Delos hoisted black sails when it departed (and, surprise surprise, white sails when it returned).
d) Speaking of sailors, Pirates favored black hats.
e) More recently, we have Darth Vader and other nefarious sorts represented by black
f) The eight ball in billiards is black (“Behind the eight ball”)
g) But then there’s the other side of black that signifies a solid basic or structural strength.
h) Black also can conjure up feelings of peace and quiet, in contrast to the nosy agitation of light. Think of the deep restful quiet of a heavy night’s sleep.



4. Red

a) Of all the hues, red generally pushes the most emotional buttons.
b) Love, valor, fire, fervor, energy - they’re all red.
c) Red is the sign of alarm!
d) Why is the Staples That Was Easy Button red?
e) Red can represent sin, too: “though your sins be as scarlet.” (Isaiah 1:18)

5. Yellow

a) Next to white, yellow, the lightest of colors, also generally symbolizes “light” though not as pure as white.
b) Yellow is rich and “gold” - the noblest of metals.
c) Divine love enlightening human understanding has been symbolized by yellow
d) Yellow is the imperial color in China
e) On the other side, we have sayings like “a yellow streak”—which means acting in a cowardly way and not very brave.

6. Blue

a) Blue has long been associated with truth, wisdom, divine eternity and immortality.
c) While white may be an absolute truth, blue is a truth that could be revealed to and understood by men.
d) Blue moons, the third full moon in a season with four full moons, or the second full moon of a calendar month, are rare.
e) Blue may be sad and lonely for some these days, but traditionally its been associated with the idea of constancy and loyalty.
f) In China blue was the color of the dead (vis-à-vis red, the color of the living)
g) On a personal note, blue has long been my favorite of all the colors!

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Ape Meets Girl
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Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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