Silhouettes from Popular Culture is a delightful little book by acclaimed illustrator Olly Moss and Titan Books. The book features the collection from Moss’s 1988 ‘Paper Cuts’ series from his sold-out Gallery 1988 show. Instead of featuring real people, Moss put his own unique twist on the series by capturing characters from popular culture.
Silhouettes used to be a popular portrait technique used long ago, but fell by the wayside as cameras came around. However, if you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you’ll know there’s still a place on Main Street where you can get your hand-cut portrait done by a lady who’s been doing it for decades. Despite their reminder former times, silhouettes still evoke feelings of elegance and charm—hence the reason they’ve come back in vogue in recent years.
Silhouettes from Popular Culture will become one of your favorite coffee table books. Visitors will instantly gravitate to the book, flipping through each page in a self-imposed game of trying to identify as many characters as possible.
The book features a wide variety of characters and people from animation, TV, movies, video games and pop culture. The original collection features classic characters such as Willy Wonka, Boba Fett, Mario, and Ferris Bueller. But this book has been updated with more recent pop culture wonders such as Harry Potter, Captain Jack Sparrow and the Burger King. I was also surprised at the magnitude of animated characters I saw on the pages from Wiley Coyote and Roadrunner to Hogarth and the Iron Giant.
My only complaint is that there’s not index or answer page so you can see which characters you got right and which you got wrong. I guess that was intentional: you either get pop culture or you don’t.
Fans of Moss’s silhouette collection have been waiting years for this book to become a reality. Well, the wait is finally over. I doubt that this book will stay on store shelves for long. It is a little gem that will enchant and mesmerize all who open its pages.
Photos via My Modern Met