Black art is an old form of magic that is rarely used today in its original form. The effect black art produces is fantastic, it is as close to trick photography as you can get without a camera!
A magician practising black art will find a stage and dim the lights. While he and his assistants are wearing white, the audience can see them. The performers then command items to appear and move around. Versions of ‘sawing a woman in half’ are performed and you can see the two halves moving round the stage, only to be melted back together, or just vanish. The possibilities are endless, and all leave the audience feeling mystified.
The theory behind black art is that everything in black won’t be seen against a black background. This means at the start of the performance, there can be many items on the stage covered in a black cloth and they won’t be seen. The magician simply removes the cloth and voila, an item has appeared. Disembodied bodies can move around by wearing black trousers, or a black jumper. Assistants dressed completely in black can make objects, including people, fly around the stage.
This form of magic really allows the imagination to go wild. Many things are possible with a bit of creativity and a pot of black paint! Black art is truly the cleverest and easiest magic to perform.
Black art is often performed in silence as it is a mystical event to watch, however do not be afraid to talk – your voice will be very powerful coming from the darkness, heightening the illusion.
Although to you, the performer, nothing will seem like magic, to the audience, the whole performance will blow their minds away. It is highly recommended to make a video of the performance so you can see the show from the other side of the stage. From your side of the stage, everything is visible – you can see the props and assistants.
To improve the illusion, some artists have lights above, below and to the side of the stage gently shining at the audience to further reduce the amount they can see. In complete darkness, however, a very eerie performance can be achieved. Another option is to use ‘black-light’ (i.e. UV light), which makes white and several other colours come to life, leaving black in darkness.
To end the performance, the magician has many possibilities ranging from floating off the stage, to gradually being engulfed by darkness (to do this, use a large piece of black cloth that starts on the floor and is slowly lifted up by two assistants to block you from view).
In a nutshell, your imagination and creativity is the only limit to this fine art.