Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tip of the Knife, Issue 11

Tip of the Knife #11 is dedicated to Christine Tarantino.  We all miss you.

Our Contributors:

This is an interesting union of visual poetry, the minimal airbrush work of Jules Olitski and the thin insistent flow of Larry Poons.  Tony is able to see these things, and other color field artists, but guess what?  He supersedes them with ease; he doesn't serve them, it’s the other way around.  But now that I think about it, they probably don’t mean anything at all to him, like comparing the sleepy eighth grade math student to Einstein: I know that when I look at this work, the other stuff doesn't mean anything to me either.  But Tony’s pieces do. These elements belong only to him.  Painterly perspective gives a jolt to the eye as shifting color planes control the picture frame, backdrops for great word things (“Thoughts are confused views”).   Beautiful balancing of letter/word/color/shape. Sublime color/book shapes.  And nobody likes ab ex drips more than me.

She has some cool space age themes going on with these pieces- simple so that our space voyager can take off with letters made of polished metal and plutonium retro rockets, excited to land, to spread new visual languages to the uninitiated aliens.  Amanda can do this, so I crown her Queen of the Universe.  These transformed glyphs are full of meaning to make the odyssey worthwhile.  Each page reveals a testament to exploration, fire and bravery.  Then there’s the piece about a crater where the ship has crashed, digging into the black extraterrestrial ground, exploding red astronaut blood which hovers above the surface in low gravity.  The red/black contrast itself is powerful enough to shatter the planet.  At first I thought 001 seed was outside the theme, but then I started thinking that some other  worldly race planted us and tended us.  Don’t look at me like that, it’s possible. 

bárbara is an architect and an artist; you can tell that the fusion of her two disciplines is advantageous in creating hybrid structures, quietly tinted drawings  derived from her plans, affecting us the way a beautiful new building does;  soothing designs, clean minimalist walls, windows,  doors, and columns allow us to wander, to give us new eyes and new spiritual insight, to open us.  Imagine living in these expansive spaces, imagine the psychological evolution that could occur from stretching out in these buildings, these layouts, these drawings, these colors.  A tan/green/yellow watercolor base unites the floors.  Simplicity is the creed, and Zen is the light.

What a gorgeous suite!  Red is the sucker punch, distressed letters are the chattering tongues.  Outlined rectangles wander through the work like floaters in our eyes.  The pieces contain letters and stains,  chasing one another, reaching out to one another, almost caressing one another in a tenderly brutal passion play.  Tendrils of mad white snap crack through the other elements, illuminating them like lunatic lightning, reaching out and grabbing items in a growing electric embrace.  Contrasting elements are very simple but not very simple.  Bruno’s Kung Fu is strong, his red is pure and powerful.  How can it not knock you out?

Reading Peter’s work is in a sense a trip back to 1968 Viet Nam; there are so many bombs bursting you don’t know which way to turn.  His magnificent Coltrane-like sheets of pure language both assault and astonish.  When Peter and I were sharing and communicating back in the 1980s, we talked about the production of the text, about the collaboration of writer/reader; nothing is fixed, nothing too solid to flow.  Words shift in a beautiful crazy madcap dance of multiple courses, multiple combinations. Peter cites Jacques Lacan as an influence; Lacan rejects the belief that reality can be captured in language.  I’m no expert in the field of psychiatry but I do know that reality floats just a little above our heads, language just below.  It takes a real tour de force like Gestures A, B, and C to make his language speak and describe the unspeakable and the indescribable.  Every word belongs to every other word- the chase is on.  Red rover, red rover, come on over. 

Nature is transformed with such a jolt that these amazingly colored sunspot images supersede natural rocks, leaves, trees and humanity, leaving us with only our budding consciousness.  I feel like I’m a witness to both the spiritual side of the world and its dead crispy underbelly.  Alton Downs is like Kurlian photography at its most transcendent, revealing the electric unity of earthly life forms.  Mark has an amazing connection to the within and the without, like the symbiotic relationship of Eraserhead's Henry and the Lady in the Radiator.  She sings about the beatific nature of higher worlds; Mark does this with visual components ( but I can actually hear them too, major and minor key frames, gorgeous and disturbed melodies, monster throbbing bass notes).  I don’t even want to think about the piece that reminds me of Dresden, the German city that was pulverized and flamed by US planes in World War II, causing 250,000 casualties.  Smoke rises from the rubble in this, one of Mark’s more poignant super-powered pieces.  The world is magical, the world is heart breaking.  Mark sees both, and he shows them to us.

Seriously, this stuff is some of the most forward thinking art happening right now.  No matter where you look, painting, photography, collage, vispo, you’ll see right away that this work is cutting edge, surpassing all of those disciplines and media.  Numerous elements tell tales of desire, perversion, black, black humor, and of course the strange twisted sadness of modern life.  So what do we have?  Man makes bizarre love to- tablecloth?  Pillow?  Torso of dead girl?  Strange creature combo of man/girl/rabbit in sexual positions on drafting tables.  Gorilla/Cro-Magnon girl signs to the world.  Surrealism runs rampant until it is mercilessly and perversely stomped by these macabre characters.  The thought of them and their world  gives me chills, and I have to ask, where does it all come from?  What does it mean?  My eyes are as big as saucers, my jaw hangs open, and I'm alone because this world is so alien; but then I realize, I don’t care.  The less I understand this stuff, the more I love it.  And we'll still be loving it in the 22nd Century.


Tony Rickaby
Amanda Earl
bárbara mesquita
bruno neiva
Peter Ganick
Mark Young
Antonio Spain

Tony Rickaby

Against the Wall

Clapham Road

Round a Corner

The Right Way

Amanda Earl


002earl_ a-ship





bárbara mesquita

Bio: bárbara mesquita. Portuguese. 27. Architect and artist.






bruno neiva

John Red 1

John Red 2

John Red 3

Peter Ganick

[this variably-margined, variably-font-sized document is the beginning of a document to accompany the work of the psychiatrist jacques lacan. it is site-specific in the sense that it specifies its own dimension--a text poured from a jar onto a table that waits the pieces of the puzzle to be put together. 
                    --pg,         [midnight between 10.15 + 10.16.2012]

course of gesture a

mightily form acetones cairn pluralities vacuous troll nearby slat harass symbiant cross ironic sling alias official sampled gamelan portal dear remedial coefficiency parallax emplot variously nolo contend site-warmer canister accuracy behave hoove salida mob sotto vicinity apall dendrite avalanche debonaire aachen salisbury tone-row attune token sizing reflexions feral saith debutante semaphore essence gnosis threadless eradicate hoop broke haeccity burnish vales deign tortola demiurge asleep gnostic valedictorian knowledgeably discourse tray sez eranos deterrents asleep denotative mode snippet mitosis either watershed proclaim eithers demigod ah-so remedial none oftens social beacon essence tolerably schneller tapas redux corolianus dictaphone sez fennel samba irridate neoclassic entrada centrism locus neither watershed potash inoculate cider oftensaid veep nirguna sizing each nestling evening slasher progression obtuse wahoo neither transition brood ankh miscible threnody answer feint effectual drowsy nominal gutter assignation valise deerslayer noesis thankful recidivism nominal coefficacy plumage role-player genx negotiator naissance breaking sledge remote aside google arrowhead affable qualia deter sic rehearse focus dapple rug seismic altimate ultimatum radiance neither washerworld ontic valkyrie dasein aegis meticulous lorgnette sample risotto vector geode mapping slate alliteration raising arrangement misible three sojourner marmot even aprille gestural territory cufflink small target nova announce salted motion leeway begot snapfish urreal centrism gaffer stylism yearling ophelia disdain gleam segue alternative lasso graphematic salubrious agadir fence allocate sitting returnee allocate voiceovers delight universal remand slippery hammock sollen nippon sitar aneurism total sonic incursion detente amounting saxophone elegance tisane peccary hut seizer attune oracle isness waits vocality processual smudge attune bituminous degree assail goer sendoff ceded assurances deliberates deign volitional junctures door amity clueless agony seize palette abacus read-off immense emirate satyr armor noctune tibia cosi demimonde enable stipulate nostrum corner sallow


course of gesture b

immerses nug lotion slate centrist avanticular borough site averaging leeway proclaim dutiful merge aisle conifer treacle governance dearth connote academe pirouettes deliberative amnesia docent correcting lacunae burlap millwork anno dactylic notifier brooks re-emplot averaging sensate motion salsa genes tenuto caliphate mogul pineal correspond gaping modus parapet veneer salisbury candy noetic avalon certes focus non increment alois connote vacancy perilous graphematic vielle maroon lava riddance behest incremental specially canoe trachea vigule machinic lair verbatim acclaim ghostly parse ontologically burrows negator nsaid enough seizures geode mirroring aver knotted amistad filmic grammatically surrogate file-manager grommet napkin lei assume noetic avenue listen snippet mile anima venn digestion allays wider listen associate laissez verre trou settle mindstylism corrects feint acolyte correction lastly forages elite miniseries debonair slicers deign rubber transom vicarious renovate semaphore grace sixpence thematic reopen sidereal cusp genuflect notify emerge salute nocturne site nascar dross bulletin aside maelstrom canister bottle yeses tenuto sanitas vends alas irate thistle cyclone library terrific elixir neoprene assumption aisle nth insufficiency paan croquet anode sensimilla eeriest vagary prehend rink otherwave sleight presumption evidencing permission vector nostrum appaloosa document ladle commensurate nadir preempt snip tenuto salute cactus emotion slacked engrave motto silence


course of gesture c 

agape offices dally nor negotiate scale trout apnea vermicelli natura center signatures utter grandee also skirmish attitude salida voices elsewhom nth gullet cackle ousia trotter behemoth signature episodic mull fractions elegant limitation orangerie captain vacuum thereof befuddle miscellany patatapan eurasian locus trapeze sticker fandom panacea crust acme leitmotif glacial devotional feint aegis rename wily perpetual ingredient asleep imitate sacral immerse nominal triune cacti those repellant cease noetic ablution either wait calypso neither eidos remoulade formulaic decoys elaborating network suede varmint calling stray impediment visceral onion classism genetic aisle debut syrinx conic rta milling orphic also ramifications eloge heroiade sembable corrective massive already brake seite mascarpone sally forth allowance determinate smiley geode oggi simulacra eon slurry papyrus conifer salute migraine stretto igneous tentative salt binder slash gotcha mottos edit avenue asleep vignette nths surreal lorgnette snippet anchor random tended parcel imbibe alliance torrone greeters signal nurture seizure palomino septum alizarin gestural infract refoliate merriment opportune saith wanderers list environ selved parchment delude vouchsafe reification aside motions paan cell driver graded siphons dilates engulf snipper juggle striate valence pre-empt snapper neverthelessly abolish portent delightful aspirate lemma fend salsa notifications eithered intext language discord aprille re-route vindaloo urtext yammer another guess fuselage mortify calumny periodic vellum oggi streetwide implosion cartel vignette snailpace vocality prochain cell signature evaluation sleight fractal implode site reagent factory neither saskatoon viewpointed also rummy agenda mitten suddenly prolated first entrada liberates mitten surplus cufflinks enough sidereal conifer snarl peppered ingenue asleep cephalon drastic overhead losenge dasein thoroughly precarious lighten donate systemic renovate nom cue errata model ruse aegis jet preamble geistlich entity realitizes gotcha effete curlicue girth anon release surry aout miasma ictus fissile threadless fond neither slate assemble perpetuity cavalier maori salsa certes eocene reaching slightly presume station aver seizure plastic vellum onrush globe re-animate exergue trail haven sire alizarin tentative lossless ingredients folly narrow space accidie threaded swollen napkins deluge answer vernissage politic aisle errata mirror angulate retain ganglion rename doorknob syntax lost neither insist vicinity sod itemize lissome growth laotse temptations allure conifer gallantine wabi-sabi sequester amount

Mark Young

alton downs




Antonio Spain


Contra Descartes


Accepting submissions for Tip of the Knife, Issue 12 at 

Beyond the fences, wild horses 
Make the sound that freedom makes,
Calling down the moon and stars
And calling up the rattlesnakes


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