Thursday, July 19, 2018

Home from Vacation



After a few weeks of fun down in Mexico, I came home to a big pile of mail. It wasn’t just junk mail and bills, there was plenty of good mail art waiting for me.  The list includes Adrienne Mason’s layered collage, new mail from Argentina, a tattooed hand, an old wallpaper sample repurposed as a postcard by Jennifer Utter, and mystery food embedded and preserved under layers of tape from Pedro Bericat.  I particularly liked Punkie Ebert’s Yes We Do Care  flag postcard – in these times, it is challenging for Americans to feel patriotic about our country.  Punkie reminds us that we will keep resisting until we deliver ourselves from this disaster. Finally, some follow-up from the Beyond Beat show down in Venice that included a poster and a set of artist stamps. Below is the full list of what is shown in this post:   
  1. Adrienne Mason– Canada
  2. Punkie Ebert – California 
  3. William Mellott– Taiwan
  4. Torma Cauli– Hungary
  5. Maria Quiroga – Argentina 
  6. Kathy Barnett – Missouri
  7. Jennifer Utter – California 
  8. Pedro Bericat– Spain
  9. Gregg Biggs – Museum of Unclaimed Ephemera – California
  10. Asli Omur – California 
  11. Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center– California

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Mail Art from the Tropics





It feels good to get a different perspective and be out of my usual San Francisco element.  Reading, relaxing, listening to the surf and enjoying afternoon thunderstorms on the Bahía de Banderas in Puerto Vallarta.  I travel with art supplies and have been making some mail art postcards.  Before heading out to find a mail box, it is important to ask the Magic Iguana to make sure these arrive — eventually.  They might take a couple of months to get to their recipients, but it will be worth the wait.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Who needs souvenirs when you can buy art supplies?




When I travel I always have an eye for some inspiration and often find art supplies on the road.  Oh sure, I could go to an art supply store anywhere, that isn’t quite what I mean. I’ve been picking up things down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  After a trip to the arts and crafts aisle of Woolworths, I now the word in Spanish for googly eyes — ojos móviles.  The 25 Pesos store had Loteria de Los Estados – Mexican geography-themed loteria cards. Had to have them.  And I could not resist these sheets of neoprene at a fabric store, the plain ones were 2 pesos each, the glamoury glitter ones were 5 pesos a piece.  And shopping at the fabric store was amusingly bureaucratic, three separate counters to make a purchase.  Now, what am I going to do with all these supplies?  Hmmm….

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The most amazing things in the mail from Lithuania





I have never regretted the way I accidentally stumbled into the world of mail art about seven years ago.  I love walking up to the post office and anticipating what surprises wait for me.  And, of course, I enjoy sharing my own art and sending it out to the world.  Every now and then there is something in that box that is truly extraordinary.  The sort of things that, when I show them off to friends, they too want to start sending andreceiving mail art.  Last week an envelope from Mindaugas Žuromskas arrived from Lithuania.  It contained this incredible set of stenciled images applied to what appears to be old, bureaucratic ephemera.  I am absolutely delighted to add these to my own, personal art collection.

June Mail

Some of the recent mail art to arrive in my post office box that included some time-themed motifs (I love those) and some summery and springtime greetings.  Shown here:
  1. Katerina Nikoltsou - Greece
  2. Fleur Helsingor- California 
  3. William Mellott- Taiwan
  4. Valdor – Catalonia/Spain
  5. R.F. Côté- Québec/Canada
  6. Eduardo Cardoso- Portugal
  7. Lubomyr Tymkiv- Ukraine 
  8. Carolyn Oord (aka Kerosone) - Québec/Canada 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Art Imitates Art

Sometimes life imitates art and sometimes art imitates art — is it coincidence or is it on a subconscious level?  The other day I visited the SFMOMA and one my favorite works of art was the first thing I saw when I looked up — Wall Drawing 895: Loopy Doopya piece designed by Sol LeWitt whose work I first was properly introduced to in the big retrospective back in 2000.  Why wouldn’t I love it? It reminded me of some of the wavy rubber stamps I have recently been hand carving. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Low Tech High Tech Mail


In 1996 the U.S. Postal Service issued a Computer Technology stamp to celebrate the 50thAnniversary of ENIAC (the first electronic computer for general use). The U.S. Postal Service had Nancy Skolos and Tom Wedellcreate the first postage stamp designed entirely using computers. In that same year, email began to out-pace pieces of snail mail sent in the U.S. 
Recently I was given a sheet of those postage stamps and immediately started working on a piece of mail art to put them to good use.  Low tech, hand-carved, rubber stamps resulted in a series of 40 postcards.  It might seem like a contradiction using low tech postcards to commemorate a high tech postage stamp, but mail artists are not afraid to communicate via email and share the mail they receive online. It is not low tech vs. high tech, but rather low tech and high tech.