Less Teddy, Less Heady
May 4, 2015 5:17 PM   Subscribe

Where do I shine my UV light to find interesting UV active art?

I've always loved UV-reactive stuff and blacklights. I recently decided to pick up a blacklight and went hunting for blacklight art. Unfortunately, unless you're into Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, cannabis, or Grateful Dead it seems that the pickings are pretty slim.

I've poked around on poster sites, Etsy, and attempted to Google but almost everything keeps coming up dorm, stoner, or band. What rocks do I need to turn over to find other stuff?
posted by caphector to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
Not posters, but you might be interested in vaseline glass.
posted by box at 5:23 PM on May 4, 2015

Speaking of turning over rocks...
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 5:39 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

What sort of specific art would you be looking for?

I think part of the problem as to why you're not finding a lot of non-hippie/dorm room stuff is because the printing is fairly expensive, from what I know. This failed Kickstarter seemed awesome, but it was $25 for an 8 1/2 by 11 print.

If you're feeling crafty at all, there are blacklight-reactive acrylic paints out there (and you may be able to get away with some neon acrylic paints too) and lots of instructions for making abstract art. Or, buy some color-your-own velvet posters (which are still going to have the same hippie/dorm room problem, but at least have more diversity) and some neon markers (or highlighters) and make your own.

(I'm sure you've seen sites like Blacklight.com, which definitely have a lot of things you're not going to want, but may give you some ideas.)
posted by darksong at 6:32 PM on May 4, 2015

It's not art, but:

Try checking out your credit cards. They nearly always have special printing in UV ink.

Try pointing your light at laundry detergent; you'll be surprised by how brightly it glows.

Modern American currency at $10 or above has a UV strip incorporated in the paper, with a different color for each denomination.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:56 PM on May 4, 2015

posted by Rash at 10:03 PM on May 4, 2015

Or make black light drinks...the quinine in tonic water glows. I've been playing around with black lights the last few days too, just hooked up my fixture and bulbs this morning as a matter of fact.

I'm playing around with glow in the dark bubbles, which you get from letting the ink saturated insides of highlighting markers (yellow and green work best in my experience) soak in the bubble solution.
I have a bubble machine that spews out hundreds of bubbles in minutes, but I'm also playing with making the giant human sized blobby bubbles with this. These giant ones are messy though so they only get made outside.
posted by newpotato at 7:11 AM on May 5, 2015

Vaseline glass and a mineral collection are on my list. Might have a look in Quartzite next time I'm passing through. I'm also getting some stuff made out of naturally fluorescent woods.

Darksong, I want to find more stuff than the easy-to-find stuff. The Wikipedia page for Blacklight Posters states that companies are producing new posters but I'm not sure I'm finding them.
posted by caphector at 10:07 AM on May 5, 2015

You can check on deviantArt - one artist I know does UV-reactive paintings on black velvet.
posted by parilous at 10:23 AM on May 5, 2015

There is fluorescent ink for inkjet printers. Print your own!
posted by ShooBoo at 2:29 PM on May 5, 2015

As a random update, I was looking at my currency and I found a counterfeit $20 note. Doesn't have the security strip and glows uniformly, unlike the other bills.
posted by caphector at 9:16 PM on May 25, 2015

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