Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not Found In Nature

In the Sculpture Garden across from the National Gallery, I stopped near Alexander Calder's "Cheval Rouge." Although he saw it as a red horse, on this overcast afternoon it looked closer to orange. The striped barriers and cone beyond the sculpture kept claiming my attention. They echoed the orange of the sculpture but raised the intensity up to the florescent level, to the color we know as Safety Orange. We think of this color as one not found in nature, unless you are snorkeling among tropical fish in the Caribbean. Safety Orange may strike us as unnatural, but it is an integral part of our environment. How many times a day do we see this color? The next time you ride along a highway or walk through a city, try counting the orange.