Never Give Up (Dasie) Hope


Artists know that when light strikes an object, the object will cast a shadow. Clouds throw traveling shadows and boathouses cast shadows that dapple the water. The Highwaymen, a group of young, self-taught African-American artists from Ft. Pierce, whose Upsom board canvases of rural Florida’s marshes, vibrant sunsets and moss-laden trees were sold from the trunks of their cars, created shadows almost as hue-laden as the objects they reflected.

Before clocks, our day was regulated by shadows. Sundials were essential items in everyday life, even behemoths like Stonehenge and the vertical columns of Machu Picchu, the largest among them Intihuatana, the Hitching Post of the Sun.

We anthropomorphize shadows, give them a life of their own. We’re not the first. It’s possible that Paleolithic artists, watching shadows dance on the walls of their caves, painted only animals since human beings seemed well enough represented. Shadow people glimpsed in the corner of one’s eye are part of our collective mythology.

Read the entire article in the March 2011 issue

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