Friday, April 24, 2009

The Color Red... or Yellow.

Anytime Paul Gauguin comes up, I am reminded of this little tidbit from my childhood.

Calvin and Hobbes

I read this as a kid with Calvin's perspective. Who the hell is he? I didn't know, and I didn't bother finding out.

But... Well, he liked to paint.

Paul Gauguin, Vision After The Sermon


Smooth pasty red.

A lot of what impressionism is about has to do with the way the mind perceives color. Red classically represents a number of things. It can represent love, anger, passion, life (blood), or death (blood) depending on how it's used. But, some people, like myself, identify color with numbers, letters, music, and memories.

Five is yellow to me, for example. Always has been.

Uno anyone?

And there are several orange memories in my life, as as well as many blue ones. Last summer was particularly yellow.

Probably doesn't make any sense to you. Or maybe it does. Most people I've talked to who are 'creative and gifted' know exactly what I'm talking about, even though the colors don't always match up. It makes no sense to me why anyone would think that five is anything other than yellow. Because... it's so obviously yellow.

Uno disagrees.

Fuck you Uno, five isn't red.

Now it seems that yellow is one of the colors that inspires me the most. Quite honestly it isn't. It's very out of character for me. And I honestly don't really like the color if it's overused.

Vincent van Gogh, Night Cafe

And I think the same reaction would come from someone who hates the color red. But honestly, the color red reminds me of Dynasty Warriors, Orcs, and just about every Chinese film I've ever seen (House of Flying Daggers was Green, and Hero was every color in the book. But they did those things on purpose, which impresses me.). All of which are things or concepts that I enjoy. So the color red does something for me, and I'm able to appreciate this painting beyond the subject matter simply because of the sheer amount of red that it uses.

If something is red in my mind, chances are that I'll enjoy it.

My response to the painting has almost nothing to do with the subject of the painting itself, just the fact that it spams the color red everywhere. Alternately, the Night Cafe has the opposite problem with me because it has the color yellow fucking everywhere. Even the red is yellow. There are times when the color yellow can be used tastefully, but in this case, it doesn't seem right to me.

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