2016 Artists' Carnival > Jason Messinger

Ceramic tile mural by Jason Messinger
Carny Cant
ceramic, glaze, wood frame backer and wall cleats
Dimensions variable, shown 32" x 44" x 1"

Inspired by the lingo of world of the carnival.
Original ceramic tile mural by Jason Messinger.
Hand cast tiles with hand painted glazes. Ships with wall cleats and wood frame backers to project tiles 1" off wall. Work is modular - can be displayed in any configuration or sequence.

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Definitions:
Ballyhoo - The "outside talker’s” spiel drawing a crowd (called a "tip") in to see a sideshow. To attract the attention of customers/voters by raising a clamor.
Cake - Money made by short-changing customers at ticket boxes.
Clem - A fight between a townie and carnies. Also: another term for a ”mark," particularly a gullible rural local.
Ding - The offer to those customers already inside your show, of the chance to see a special added attraction, not advertised on the outside, for an additional fee.
Duke - When a shill (a game operator's employee posing as a member of the crowd) persuades someone (the mark) to play a rigged game. The shill gets a fee for this, as a percentage of what the agent extracts from the mark.
Gaff - The mechanism by which a game is secretly controlled or 'faked'.
Gazoonie - The lowest form of carny, either an itinerant day laborers or a very young and inexperienced worker.
Hanky Pank - A game where every player wins a prize every time. The charge per play more than equals the cost of the prize. A mark who wins once can win a tiny plush, and then have an incentive to play more and trade in his small prizes for one larger prize.
Hoop La - A game in which prizes are displayed atop wooden blocks, and won by throwing a wooden hoop entirely over the prize and the block so that the hoop rests on the tabletop. The blocks are shaped to be larger than they appear, making a winning throw difficult or even impossible.
Jam - High-pressure selling by a pitchmen.
Ride Jock - The carnival employee who operates the running of a ride.
Timber - Another name for a “Shill”; an employee who poses as a customer, playing a game (and being secretly allowed to win) or buying a ticket in order to motivate other customers to do likewise.

Definitions source- "On The Midway", 2008, Wayne N. Keyser