Battle Of The Eyes formed in 1986 as an art gang of three: Savage Pencil (Edwin Pouncey), Chris Long and Andy Dog. Taking inspiration from 60′s US chrome culture, early underground comix and psychotronic cinema, BOTE welded together to produce Nyak-Nyak!, a fold-out art comic that was initially free with copies of Wiseblood’s 12″ single Motorslug. Although Dog departed soon after, Long (aka Eyeball) and Savage Pencil carried on to publish three other titles: Bug Fuck, Disposal Bag (with Gary Panter) and Corpsemeat 2 -the latter’s main story written by Alan Moore. Other projects included skateboard designs for Slam City Skates, and T-shirts and bags for Rough Trade.
When Long and Pouncey reunited in 2010, Battle Of The Eyes returned with a new creative agenda. Collaborative, large-scale paintings shunned the form and dialogue of the early comix in favour of a more nuanced and painterly approach to communicate Long and Pouncey’s visual ideas. Improvisation plays a great part, as does a passion for paint manipulation and clashing colours. Their work taps into the unknown, allowing forms to appear unexpectedly beneath the layers of paint and ink. After Planet Of The Jackanapes (2012) – an exhibition of their early works from this period shown at Norwich Castle – BOTE has been working in the studio to produce a body of work that ripples with wit and imagination. The forthcoming exhibition also marks the partnership’s return to publishing with the first issue of The Battle Of The Eyes Bulletin.