Thursday, September 18, 2008


i love silhouette. it suits my less is more aesthetic.

while traipsing around etsy the other day i stumbled on opticwaste's store. i was initially drawn in by an image called Clara.

opticwaste, Clara, tea stained silhouette print in a re-purposed vintage frame with no glass. available at her etsy store. 

Clara has all the elements of something i MUST have. it's eerie and yet whimsical and slightly silly. i appreciate the store's design aesthetic, as well as their sense of re-use. i like the re-purposed vintage frames, and the shadow-box, no glass technique they've chosen for the pieces. its nice to see a piece in which every step of the presentation has been given careful consideration. 

i love bats, LOVE bats. when i was in Baltimore recently i had the distinct pleasure of seeing some huge fruit bats in an Australian river bed exhibit. my companion was not a fan, but i find their unique structure and morbid, superstitious presence in human mythology to be appealing. plus, if you can get past the veiny wings and legendary association with Dracula, they're really very cute. and SMART, i love an animal that is adaptive and intelligent (i also enjoy world music, insalata caprese and lively conversation, if you feel like you fit the description ;) 

i also really appreciate the sweet nothings that opticwaste include with their descriptions. under Clara, the artist wrote "cousin Clara had a moment to reflect that storing her hoop skirts in the attic was perhaps not the best idea." i adore an artist with a sense of humor. 

opticwaste produced several of these humorously deranged silhouettes for their series. in the profile write-up for the store the artist talks about how she had collected silhouettes for years before deciding to make some of her own. some of the imagery is original, and some of it is pulled from public domain sources, which lends it a great old/new quality. 

opticwaste, uncle George, tea-stained silhouette print, framed shadowbox style in a re-purposed antique frame with no glass. available at her etsy shop.

opticwaste, Emma, tea stained silhouette framed shadow-box style in a re-purposed antique frame with no glass. available on her etsy shop. 

opticwaste's work reminds me of Kara Walker, though the association is almost purely style based. Kara is an artist who i've been following for years. she does wild, gut-wrenching installations using a sort of antebellum style silhouette technique in which she creates large scale vignettes on gallery walls. her installations are instantly visually attractive in their execution, but upon closer inspection, the lacy, intricate scenes depict graphic scenes of violence and sexual degradation. moments of humor in certain passages illicit uncomfortable chuckles, only serving to highlight the dense relationship between the content of the scenes and the inherent beauty of their technique. i strongly recommend taking any chance you may come across to see the work of Kara Walker up close and in person, pictures just can't do the experience justice. 

* a good friend of mine gently recommended yesterday that i consider being more aware of my grammar on this blog. good advice, surely, but my lack of capitalization was a stylistic choice. in the spirit of compromise, i've agreed to try to check for grammar, and to capitalize names and place names, but i will not be capitalizing "i".... personally i still feel like a lower case i


Slartraub said...

I am a BIG fan of silhouettes as well. Fantastic!

On a side-note, I wouldn't worry too much about grammar on this blog. It is full of sass and hot sauce, which we know beats out grammar any day. :)

l.e. said...

Thank you for this, it's truly awesome.


Anonymous said...

Bats! ewww;)

tiger said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.

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