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Bari Resnick’s art works by counterglow: though initially the images suggest a range of associations, aftertime its antecedents fall away and the art burns in its own sky with a brightness uniquely its own. For instance, the first still image of her stop-motion animation, which graces the home page of our current issue, put me in mind of the dark imaginative shocks of Joel Peter Witkin’s photographic grotesques, as well as the haunting in-betweenness contained within the horror stories of Dennis Etchison, who pitches his wounded protagonists against the irrationality of the unfeeling world.

There is certainly melancholy to Resnick’s work, when we consider the naked figure who is seemingly broken upon his funeral pile, but additionally there is a captivating beauty, from the stark globe of illumination emanating from the slanted streetlamp to the simplistic arrangement of the jostling cityscape and the gathering ominousness of the background sky.

There is also wit and anger, particularly in Resnick’s collage work. Consider the image where the fifties-era woman sleepily succumbs to the missile-blimp decelerating toward her head, as the pharmacist-like figure crouched safely behind a scumble of rock points to shelter where surely there is none: a turreted pile of volcanic black rock, as if to say that men of a certain era directed womanhood to blunder and death while women (judging by the figure still on her feet) were forced to endure.

And what of the skimpily clad figures engaged in their solitary summery activities, given a Hopperesque loneliness by dint of their careful separation amidst a Hudson River School rockscape? The muscular man brandishing the paddle in the foreground seems to me to be the embodiment of Lucky’s stream-of-consciousness speech in Beckett’s Waiting For Godot, in which the mute, leashed slave is given permission by his master, Pozzo, to unbutton himself, and as a result unleashes with a fury a long series of jabs at our futile attempts at self-preservation that include “tennis football running cycling swimming flying floating riding . . .”

Were these associations intended by the artist? It is difficult to say. But this is what art of any value does for us—sets the wheels to spinning, gets the old machinery clanking; and before you know it thoughts of a radiant symmetry spiral out, and as the ideas yawn through your backbrain, you experience a series of unfolding as your mind contracts and the pleasure in existence expands as a consequence. As a great writer, the novelist Stephen Wright, once told me, “Great art is a gift to the culture.” And I have no doubt that Bari Resnick has given us just that.

Bari Resnick is a freshman Illustration major at SVA. An Ohio native, she enjoys painting in watercolor as well as writing.

Edwin Rivera is a writer, an instructor at SVA, and editor of The Match Factory.