Amongst the Shadows

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silhouette [ˌsɪluːˈɛt]

n
1. the outline of a solid figure as cast by its shadow
2. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) an outline drawing filled in with black, often a profile portrait cut out of black paper and mounted on a light ground
 
 

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So, I was going through my blog’s draft files on WordPress the other day and came upon this 1/2 finished post.

(one of 99 no less, speaking of Short Attention Span Theatre :-()

 I’d been inspired by a shot I’d taken of my older son’s girlfriend cooking in our Sun Valley kitchen last winter.

With the light behind her and the sharp angle of her pretty hair, I was reminded of those old fashioned silhouettes.

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A hundred years ago, you’d have been hard-pressed to find a home that didn’t have a silhouette or two hanging on the wall.

jenny fowlerjenny lee fowler

They were insanely popular the world over, from the grand salons of France to ‘Little House on the Prairie’ cabins across America.

gramophone silhouette

107453141081341090_syL7gzLS_cI remember making silhouettes in art class back in elementary school and having my own silhouette done at a fair…

Don’t you?!

remodelista---chapel-lane-irish-linen-winter-feast-here-tea-cloth-b3-jpegLinen napkin image via Remodelista

of course once I started writing the post I began to see images of silhouettes everywhere.

.

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 Was it just that my radar was up, or were they enjoying a revival?

armfield_rchmnd-17Leta Austin Foster

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Someone once showed me how to take a photographic silhouette with the settings on my camera. Unfortunately I neither practiced nor wrote the settings down, so that info’s gone….poooof!

I googled it, but most internet directions involve using ‘Photoshop’ after the fact.

and there’s another thing I’ll never learn.

983c596395acf25d73997e164d8f68f1How do you do get the light at the front and dark right behind it??

wedding-photo-by-minneapolis-wedding-photographer-geneoh-photography-19via here

or this effect?

custom chalk

Custom Chalk

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Marie Antoinette silhouette via Janelle McCullogh’s “Paris” book

IMG_2127slim paley photo

framed art restoration hardwareRestoration Hardware

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perhaps they are having a bit of a renaissance.

Graham MossThis image via Graham Moss is a nice example of how silhouettes can be used to  ‘modern’ effect.

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Jenny Lee Fowler

Indeed, they have changed with the times.

630.x600.art.openerContemporary artist Kara Walker turns the traditional concept of ‘Silhouettes’ on its head with her cut-paper images that critically address gender, sexuality, race and power within an antebellum tableau.

9910_12-kara_walker_6442_GoneKara Walker

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Passers-by in the Raval, Barcelona by geoffbcn on Flickr

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More recently, I caught our young sweethearts in another fun moment at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art.

*Note; a few days later my son cut off a full foot of his hair to donate, so I’m happy to have this ‘vintage’ silhouette.

The moustache…I’m still working on. :-)

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an almost comical silhouette warns of pickpocketing on the streets of Portugal

Banksy

Last month, the NYC Police vandal squad were busy searching for the elusive British artist Banksy, who’d promised to unveil an installation a day during his month long ‘residency’ in NYC.

Mayor Bloomberg was not amused.

with perfect irony, Banksy’s work of art was tagged right after it was finished…what’s good for the goose…

supporters of Banksy supposedly removed the graffiti.

streetartnews_banksy2013The question (which arose once before on my “Graffiti” post) as to whether these clandestine installations, both on public and private property, constitute ‘Art’ or not is an interesting one.

Though I appreciate arguments on both sides of the aisle, I found myself chuckling at this comment left on one site;

Mike: “…If you want to make art you need to buy materials. brushes, paint, whatever. If you want to make art then buy a canvas, If you want to paint a wall then buy a wall. My wall is not your canvas. If you can’t afford to buy a wall then cry me a river. I want to make landscaping sculptures and so I’m going to come over to your house and dig up your yard to make my sculptures…”
 
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You see how this argument could get heated-
Is there anything more subjective than “Art”?!

BanksyUnfortunately (actually, he probably doesn’t give a toss as it only brought him more publicity) Banksy lost many supporters after he harshly criticized the design of the new World Trade Center.

and usually the British have such good manners!

a15483e27346956f38d9de56a0c40fbdphoto by Ara Guler

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Slim Paley photo

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m still rather chuffed with the Instagram ‘silhouette’  I took in Utah a few months back.

It’s always all about the light, isn’t it?!

peter pan

Jenny Lee Fowler

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Leaf  silhouettes via Jenny Lee Fowler

Blast from the Past: PHySicAl GrafFiTi 

all other uncredited photos via Flickr or Pinterest

Heads Up

vintage cameo buttons

Cameos are cool again.

Just thought I’d mention it, in case you hadn’t noticed.

cameo braceletThen…

Amadeo cameos

Amedeo

…and Now

cameosCameos & tats, who’da thunk it?!

890A4843Italian Vogue

cameos

Victoria Hardstone via Fourtane

cameo earrings

muse-china-12-e1335986433479Arizona Muse via Vogue China

Old photo cameo

cameo braceletsAmedeo  on Lexington Ave. in NYC is the place to buy cool cameos.

cameo ringsThey even customize.  A loved one, or perhaps a favourite pet, or just beautiful initials.

carving cameosBoth images via Amedeo

carving cameosThese are not your Grannie’s cameos

downton abbeyBTW, shouldn’t the Dowager have a cameo on her collar?!

cameos

890A1716A most beautiful head in the Palace of Versailles

marlon-brando-julius-caesarand the most beautiful head in movies.  No contest.

Marlon-marlon-brando-30617224-1259-1107right??

Heads are in-house too.

cameo rugs

cameo rugsRugs by Stiles BK

the-libertine-magazine-campaign-january-2013-yatzer-patrick-gilles-and-dorothc3a9e-boissier-at-home-in-thier-flat-in-paris-3via The Libertine magazine

The trick is to keep a cool head.

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and don’t let it get all stuffy.

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Axel Vervoordt

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lanvin09Lanvin

Go big or go home.

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Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed….

Percy Bysshe Shelley

bust in garden

Lanvin cameoLanvin

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Just don’t lose your head  (Sorry)

slim paleyand make sure to have fun with it.

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Hey-How about that last episode tonight?

What the…  :(

Still, we must soldier on. We’re British after all (caught up in the show much??)

Try to have a good week all the same.

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(Buttons top photo, my own. Green desk photo via Pinterest)