Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seeing red

Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup

(reproduction of a British World War II poster)

It's fairly common knowledge that the color red is used in packaging and advertising to attract consumers. I don't wear red or or use it much in painting (a personality thing) but love the color in nearly every shade. For humans and animals, red quickens the heart rate. Red is the color of happiness and prosperity in China and may be used to attract good luck, it is sometimes the color worn by brides in the East while it is the color used in mourning in South Africa.

Red letter day - important or significant occasion
Red carpet treatment - make someone feel special, hospitality
Red sky in the morning, sailor's warning; red sky at night, sailor's delight (reading the signs)
Paint the town red - celebrate, a wild spree
Red eye - an overnight flight
Seeing red - anger (Incidentaly, the bull facing a matador doesn't charge because the cape is red, but because he is agitated by the movement)
Red herring - or Macguffin; a plot element that deceives or distracts attention
In the red - debt
Red flag - as an expression denotes danger, warning, as an actual flag represents defiance, or refusal to surrender.

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