sil·hou·ette /ˌ oˌet silo͞ /NounThe dark shape and outline of someone or something visible against alighter background, esp. in dim light.VerbCast or show (someone or something) as a dark shape and outline against alighter background.Synonymsprofile - outline
Two hundred years ago, long before the camera was invented, someonewishing to have an inexpensive portrait created of their loved ones wouldhave visited a silhouette artist. Within minutes and using only a pair ofscissors and a skillful eye, he would have produced a wonderful little imagewith a remarkable resemblance to his subject.
The name Silhouette traces back to themid-18th century French finance minister,Etienne de Silhouette. Because his namewas synonymous with doing thingscheaply and because he was fond ofmaking these images himself, this art formwas named after him.In America, Silhouettes were highlypopular from about 1790 to 1840. Theinvention of the camera signaled the end ofthe Silhouette as a widespread form ofportraiture. However, their popularity isbeing reborn in a new generation of peoplewho appreciate the Silhouette as anostalgic and unique way of capturing aloved ones image.They will always make charmingkeepsakes that will be treasured forgenerations.
Miniature portraits had been the rageof aristocracy whom had wornportraits as jewelry since at least the15th century. But for 300 years, theexpense required for a full colorlikeness to be commissioned hadrestricted the availability to thewealthy and kept the ordinary personfrom acquiring a portable likeness oftheir loved ones. In the late 18thcentury, shade portraits becamepopular with the masses because itrepresented a cheaper alternative tofull color portraits.
Considered Americas premier silhouette artist, Karl Johnson has been practicing this extremely rare art form for most of his life. Karl learned this unique skill as a young boy from his father who had been taught many years earlier by a long time friend of the family. Karl took to this unusual art form extremely well. Something he attributes, in part, to having vision in only one eye. Karl was born being able to see only from his right eye. Not having binocular vision forces Karl to judge the distance and shape of an object by examining its shadow. This allows Karl to capture an image in shadow in an uncanny way.http://cutarts.blogspot.com/
Starting when he was only tenyears old and now forty five,Karl estimates that he hasfreehand cut hundreds ofthousands of silhouetteimages so far in his career.Karl operates his studio andresides, with his wife Lauren andson Cooper, in SouthernCalifornia. Sources: http://cutarts.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_j7DnMyxC8 Silhouette Artist Karl Johnson of Cut Arts