Sharpening a Blade at Machete

This weekend I attended my first Machete seminar. I traveled to the warehouse at 319 N. 11th Street Saturday night not to better understand how to cut;  I went to sharpen a blade.

Is Machete a group of Amazonian tour guides? Are they a nonprofit advocating for the implementation of mazes in Philly’s overgrown vacant lots? Well, no. But they are in the business of trailblazing. Machete is a collection of philosophers, artists, and thinkers of all kind who come together under the mantra “theory without practice is empty and practice without theory is blind.” Their focus is the critical engagement of aesthetic practice. They are finding new ways to navigate through art and the universe.

Machete is manifested in two primary forms: a discussion group and a newsprint publication. The discussion group meets about once every two months to discuss the philosophy, history, and politics of art, with a focus on 20th century and contemporary works. They provide a suggested reading list for all attendees (and post convenient PDFs of all materials on their site) so as to ground the conversation. Each meeting begins with a talk by two or three of the Machete leaders, typically Gabriel Rockhill, Avi Alpert, and a resident artist/thinker. From there, a question & answer portion ensues. Beer is provided.

The publication/zine is a collection of critical essays and interviews with local men and women with new ideas. It varies from one to five pull-out sheets and is one-hundred percent free. Copies of the newsprint, as well as back-issues, can be picked up outside the Marginal Utility gallery space at the address listed above (while you are at the warehouse, be sure to make a stop at Vox Populi on the third floor).

Saturday’s meeting was a great way to start the night. I will most certainly be heading back for the regular discussions. To read an interview with founders Yuka Yokayama and David Dempewolf, head over to Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof’s ArtBlog.

My paintings are a personal exploration of mood, essence and mystery.  I strive to find the spirit of a subject and immerse myself in the experience of painting, never quite knowing where it may take me or what the outcome may be. Sometimes my struggles while paining a subject may lead to failure, and if I still have a strong conviction about my feeling for  the subject, I start again on a fresh canvas or panel and get what I want. I love oil paint and it has never lost its magic or made me want to change to a different medium.  The lusciousness,  luminosity and expressive nature of paint, how a gesture or mark can be beautiful in itself and at the same time form part of an image is why I keep on painting and drawing...
Helene Halstuch
Helene Halstuch

My paintings are a personal exploration of mood, essence and mystery. I strive to find the spirit of a subject and immerse…

My paintings are a personal exploration of mood, essence and mystery. I strive to find the spirit of a subject and immerse myself in the experience of painting, never quite knowing where it may take me…

My paintings are a personal exploration of mood, essence and mystery. I strive to find the spirit of a subject and immerse myself in the experience of painting, never quite knowing where it may take me or what the outcome…

Kimberly Stemler
Kimberly Stemler
Su Knoll Horty uses bold colors to explores the power of color to elicit emotion, Su sees it as her task to convey the exuberance she feels when working with the saturated colors in her painting. She is fascinated by the spatial dimensions, which can develop through the relationship of colors.
Su Knoll Horty
Su Knoll Horty

Su Knoll Horty uses bold colors to explores the power of color to elicit emotion, Su sees it as her task to convey the exuberance…

Su Knoll Horty uses bold colors to explores the power of color to elicit emotion, Su sees it as her task to convey the exuberance she feels when working with the saturated colors in her painting. She is…

Su Knoll Horty uses bold colors to explores the power of color to elicit emotion, Su sees it as her task to convey the exuberance she feels when working with the saturated colors in her painting. She is fascinated by the…

Lauren Sweeney
Lauren Sweeney
Jim Brossy
Jim Brossy
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