"Nothing looks worse than faded-out DayGlo."
September 10, 2019 4:23 AM   Subscribe

Day-Glo masterpieces are fading. A conservator and her team are racing to save them - an article by Sonja Sharp for the Los Angeles Times.

See also Day-Glo Dreams: a piece by Christopher Turner at Cabinet Magazine outlining the origins of DayGlo Color Corp.
posted by misteraitch (13 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Fascinating piece. I had never considered this issue with day-glo pigments before. Certainly an interesting time to be a conservator.

I was disappointed by this, though...
The company said its current paints work well for restoration purposes but that it would not divulge proprietary information. Tom DiPietro, Day-Glo’s vice president of research, put it this way: “It’d be like giving you the formula for Coke.”

But after The Times described the LACMA team’s efforts, the company agreed to provide Korbela’s team with pigment samples and a data sheet with some limited details about their composition.
I totally understand not wanting to divulge trade secrets. However, I would think jumping in and actively working side-by-side with the conservators would be a nice bit of PR for a company most people probably don't even know exists anymore (or that its products have been used in fine art, and not just in kitschy posters.)
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 AM on September 10 [7 favorites]

This was a fantastic peice of writing.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:33 AM on September 10

I love reading about this sort of thing. So much of modern art is being eaten by time - which might have actually tickled some of the artists, having their work be truly ephemeral.

Still, it reminds me of one of my favorite Vonnegut novels.
posted by Mchelly at 6:04 AM on September 10 [6 favorites]

Same, Mchelly. My mind went right to Rabo Karabekian and Sateen-Duraluxe.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:06 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]

For the Americans among us, day-glo is a less confusing name for "neon" colors and paints.
posted by sugar and confetti at 6:10 AM on September 10

"Day-Glo" is an American company and this article is in the LA Times.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:35 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]

For the Americans among us, day-glo is a less confusing name for "neon" colors and paints.

FTA: "What makes the company’s colors so revolutionary is that they radiate in sunlight, while ordinary “neon” pigments glow only with black lights in the dark. "
posted by xedrik at 7:05 AM on September 10 [9 favorites]

All 'neon' paints radiate in sunlight. Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) light. It's basically blacklight plus other colors of light.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:12 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]

Also, the best UV paints are available from Wildfire paints...they even have the invisible colors. (I have a jar of their invisible black paint.)
posted by sexyrobot at 7:16 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]

That's why there's ultraviolet dye in "color brightening" laundry detergent. And why white T shirts glow in blacklight.
posted by SoberHighland at 9:04 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]

TIL that Day-Glo is a company and not a 50s-60s era neologism. Seconding what Thorzdad said about them maybe thinking about the PR so that people will realize they exist.
posted by Quindar Beep at 11:14 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]

The biggest booster of Day-Glo was the original UK punk band, X-Ray Spex.
posted by w0mbat at 12:34 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]

For the Americans among us, day-glo is a less confusing name for "neon" colors and paints.

For those of a certain age. This weird use of 'neon' to describe Day-Glo (rather than ionized gases inside glass tubes) didn't appear until the late 80s.
posted by Rash at 7:28 PM on September 10

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