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N is for Neon Spreading Illusion: A to Z Challenge 2014

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910
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Blue Neon Madonna in Dunmore, PA. Photo by Margaret Almon
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Blue Neon Madonna in Dunmore, PA. Photo by Margaret Almon

The first time we witnessed the Blue Neon Madonna(not her real name), Stratoz and I were startled.  She has a blue mantle of other-worldliness.  Another favorite neon was Electronic Superhighway by Nam June Paik.

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Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Nam June Paik, 1995, 49-channel closed circuit video installation, neon, steel and electronic components, approx. 15 x 40 x 4 ft., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 2002.23. Photo by Wayne Stratz.
Ehrenstein Color Figure
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Ehrenstein Color Figure via Andy Parkinson.

 

Neon signs combine glass tubes with inert gases and electrification to create a gorgeous glow.  I love neon signs, but neon paint never appealed to me, and in investigating what makes a color “neon,” I discovered that it’s the addition of substances that show up under UV or black light.  The paint will reflect back more light than expected.  I also discovered the illusion of neon color spreading, where colored lines in the midst of black lines take on a glow like a neon sign.

Neon Color Circle
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Neon Color Circle via blebspot.

 

 

 

 

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