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Red hot 🔥

Ok, it’s been…HOT. Red hot, like the alerts you might be seeing on your weather app, or the coals that might have cooked your (red) hot dogs this past weekend. The color can function as an organic alert system in nature, such as in bright poisonous berries—although some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables, like watermelonsapples, and cherries, don't belong in that category. Red ochre, the color used in prehistoric cave paintings, is one of the oldest pigments still in use (it was first discovered in iron-rich soil, and later came from a cochineal insect found in Mexico). Red is the first color babies can see after black and white, and at one of the longest wavelengths, is easy for humans to identify. 

From ancient cultures to modern civilizations, red has been used to signify intensity, power, fertility, and passion. The Ancient Egyptians and Mayans used red coloring on their faces in ceremonies, and Roman generals painted their bodies red to celebrate victory. The Chinese, who associate the color with good fortune, wear red wedding dresses. Powerful people in the US enter spaces via red carpets. Bank lines move faster when red is present in the lobby, and people are perceived as more confident, powerful, or attractive when wearing red. In fact, research has shown that exposure to the color red can even cause increased blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate and metabolism. In other words, red = ALIVE. So if you feel yourself wilting in these dizzying temps, red art might be just the spark of vitality you need.