SLEIGHT OF HAND: The use of digital dexterity and cunning to deceive.
The sleight of hand artist relies upon digital skills to accomplish his illusions. These techniques are invisible to the audience. The juggler openly displays his hard earned skills. The sleight of hand artist hides them. They are concealed within natural movements and actions.
Beyond the finely acquired skills of his dexterous fingers the sleight of hand artist also relies upon other subtleties to accomplish his deceptions: Psychology and timing, language both verbal and physical, help him in deceiving all of the audience’s senses.
Sleight of hand is synonymous with the art of close up magic. It’s a form of magic performed within close proximity to the audience. The objects used are common everyday items, playing cards, coins, paper currency even cell phones. Though anything that fits into the artist’s hands becomes magical. This impromptu style of close range magic makes deception seem totally impossible, yet amazingly, the totally impossible still occurs.
Alexander Herrmann, better known as Herrmann the Great, came from a family of magicians. He was the youngest of 16 children born to Samuel Herrmann and Anna Sarah (Meyer) Herrmann. His father, Samuel, born in Germany, was a magician but also became a physician. As Samuel’s family began to grow he gave up his magic to practice medicine full time. Samuel moved his new family to France.
Samuel’s first son was Compars “Carl” Herrmann. Compars, opposite from his father, left medical school to go into magic full-time.
Alexander also had a great interest in magic and Compars, took him on as his magic assistant at the young age of 8. They traveled throughout Europe with a very successful show.
Alexander, began his own independent career in magic in 1862 in American. He had a number of very successful tours in England and Europe. But out of respect to his older brother Compars, Alexander moved back to America settling into his own successful magic career.
Alexander was tall and thin and always dressed immaculately. He had wavy black hair and wore a magnificent handlebar mustache with goatee which added to his Mephistophelean appearance.
According to H. J. Burlingame, Alexander Herrmann’s personality presented “an atmosphere of mystery about the magician.” Burlingame also noted that Herrmann was one of the kindest and gentlest of men.
Herrmann died on December 16 1896 at the age of 52. Herrmann’s wife Adelaide, continued her husband’s show becoming the Queen of Magic, the first lady of magic. She performed for 25 years retiring at the age of 75.
Herrmann the Great performed a large stage illusion show but he was best known for his elegant sleight of hand.
A Magician’s Walk in the Park – by Steven Carlson
Being a traditionally trained artist and illustrator I’m more familiar with brushes, pencils and pastels. However I do enjoy experimenting with the digital medium through Photoshop.
I recall the days when manipulating photography involved lots of time in the darkroom a steady hand with an X-acto knife and skill with an airbrush…. 40 years ago Photoshop would have been a true magical miracle!
Another title might be… Bicycles on the Walking Path.
You are entering a world of magic and illusion where anything is possible… pick a card… any card. 😉
This is my new magic promo poster, I had lots of fun creating it, I hope you enjoy it.
“Do not take me for some conjuror of cheap tricks!”
Not Gandalf the Grey! He’s the real deal, only real magic here. And Sir Ian McKellen is certainly the real deal when it comes to portraying the perfect Gandalf.
This is a graphite portrait I’ve been working on for some time; it’s not quite done yet. It’s one of those pieces I’m just doing for my own enjoyment but I did want to share it. It’s 16” X 20” the medium is graphite on board.
The poem is my own creation. I have always been intrigued with the story line of someone making a deal with the devil. Then of course when it comes time to pay the bill (their soul) they try to wiggle out of the deal with one last game or challenge. I wrote the part of devil as one similar to a con artist playing the three-card Monte or the shell game.
The idea of telling a story or a poem as a background to a magical effect has also been of great interest to me. Storytelling and magic are two very powerful mediums and together they can pack quite a one-two punch.
The card effect is called Beat the Devil from Darwin Ortiz, Scams and Fantasies with Cards. I took the presentation idea of the magician vs. the Devil and created the poem.
I truly hope you enjoy it.