The bare trees are already showing their strength of form against a bleak sky. If the weather holds, tonight at dusk these silhouettes will be spotlighted by a rare celestial co-mingling. Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon will pose huddled together in the southwest sky, far enough away from the sun that we can see their grouping with the naked eye. If you miss it tonight your next chance will be in 2052.
Silhouettes resurface every winter; when the harsh mid-winter glare doesn't leave us much nuance, or in some parts of the world where little light shines on details. To a modern day art lover the making of cut out silhouettes, once a popular 18th century home spun activity, suggest Kara Walker's piercing work.
I was reminded of Kara's imagery last month when I visited the Zimmerli art museum In New Brunswick, NJ for a Francisco Goya print show. The show includes 80 etchings from the 1799 series Los Caprichos. Mocking the selfish insanities of humankind, Goya shows the upper and lower classes in all their foolish and stupid meddlings; transforming human ugliness into gorgeous and commanding compositions. Some of his images are alive with a fresh sense of absurdity, unintentionally referencing the recent presidential election season. Goya's use of negative space and figural arrangement prompted me to think of several of Walker's pieces, that similarly skewer human follies. This show closes Dec 14. I would highly recommend it.