“The Sun watches what I do, but the Moon knows all my secrets” JM Wonderland
At 92, Betye Saar is a role model for generations of African-American women. Her combination of remnants of memories into collages and assemblages are full of inspiration and influence from mysticism and astrology. This has made her a unique and powerful woman figure in contemporary art.
Saar explores issues of race and gender discrimination through her works, and her art emits how comfortable and confident she is in her skin as a beautiful African-American woman.Although her works are filled with emotions, invocation, and mysticism she conveys them in a structured, clean and elegant style.
One of her most famous and compelling assemblages is the”Black Girl’s Window.” The five small vignettes at the top: Lovers, Death, Wisdom, Werewolf and Eagle bring to mind Tarot card illustrations. Saar lost her father when she was only five years old. The fact that a symbol of death is the center vignette makes you think about how much that loss affected her childhood and perception of the world.
She created “Black Girl’s Window” in 1969. It was a time when the whole world was obsessed with space programmes and the Moon landing. Among this frenzy, Saar seemed to be more interested in astrology and mysticism. For her, the Moon isn’t about historical achievements or a technological “giant leap for mankind.” It’s about vibes and profound experiences like loss, fear, hope, and love. These deep intimate feelings and thoughts are not usually shared with strangers, and it’s understandable why the artist kept this work to herself for years.