We’re not sure what to make of the candidates for inclusion in this sketchy category. Everything about them is kind of edgy and uncertain. Some extremely light tints — colors to which white has been added to lighten them — fall into this category, as do passages of broader vistas or swatches of larger, multicolored compositions.

Sometimes a quick glimpse of a color may result in reading it as white — instead of the milky pink, light tan, or almost-light-yellow that it really is. We’ll give these masqueraders and impostors a nod and a wink — but we’re on to their confounding behavior on and off the color charts!

The white on the painted-metal pole in the upper right-hand corner of this photograph is, literally, a dirty white. Photo by Edward M. Gómez
The colors of this baby carriage, photographed by brutjournal’s London-based artist-correspondent, Cathy Ward, in a park in the British capital, dwell in the no-man’s-land between off-white, dirty white, and maybe a very light version of taupe.
With hints of pink and of what might be described as a tint of salmon — yes, on some charts, “salmon” is a color — the splotch of paint that appears in this photograph is a candidate for inclusion in the “dirty white” category. Photo by Edward M. Gómez
The patch of light-pink-inflected white on the left side of this image makes it a contender for inclusion in the “dirty white” category. Photo by David Ensminger
Never mind the quizzical function — or non-function — of this protective metal barrier on a Tokyo side street that is positioned so close to the exterior wall of a building that it seems to serve no purpose at all. It’s painted white and it’s very dirty. Consider it a member of the dirty-white club. Photo by Edward M. Gómez