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Red Prints – Prints That Will Make You See Red

A selection of red prints by celebrated modern and contemporary artists.

Red prints have a range of symbolic meanings and is often associated with, including life, health, vigour, war, courage, anger, love and religious fervour. The common theme is that all these require passion.

Red stands for many things, all of them potent. Red is romantic love, and its physical passion. Red is violence, anger, and aggression, and it frequently indicates danger. Paradoxically–for a colour associated with action and energy–red is universally used as the colour that means “stop.” Red is used professionally to capture attention, elicit emotion, and convey confidence.

We think of vitality, the life-giving power of blood, and helping people in need (think American Red Cross.) We give red roses when we’re in love, and call simply outstanding experiences “red letter days.” Red calls us to action, gets us motivated, and wearing red lets people know we feel confident and ready to take on the world. Red is also associated with luxury–a red Ferrari and the soles of Louboutin shoes declare that a person has achieved material success.

Just as blood can be associated either with its life-giving properties or with violence, red is also paradoxically affiliated with notions of violence, danger, and anger.Matadors use red capes not to attract the attention of the bulls they fight (since bulls are colourblind,) but rather to hide the bloodstains of their gory sport. Red can indicate anger beyond what reason can contain – “seeing red” – and red flags indicate (or should) when something’s wrong with a person or a situation. Red is also associated with financial loss.