Pearls from artists* # 389February 12, 2020
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Color vision must be universal. The human eye and brain work the same way for nearly all people as a property of their being human – determining that we all see blue. But the color lexicon, meaning not merely the particular words but also the specific chromatic space they are said to mark, clearly has been shaped by the particularities of culture. Since the spectrum of visible colors is a seamless continuum, where one color is thought to stop and another begun is arbitrary. The lexical discrimination of particular segments is conventional rather than natural. Physiology determines what we see; culture determines how we name, describe, and understand it. The sensation of color is physical; the perception of color is cultural.
David Scott Kastan in On Color
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