Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pop-Up Mail Art

One of the treasures that turned up in the P.O. Box this week was from Sandra Lefever in Scarysota, Florida.  It included a postcard from her grandparent’s restaurant that immediately went on my vintage postcard blog. And then, wrapped in a little envelope, was this pop-up book made from Chinese hell money.  Check out more of her work here.   Thank you Sandra!

Friday, November 28, 2014


Today’s piece of ticket-themed mail art came from Stanislav Semkin (aka Virgo) in Russia.  And as always, he makes a cool envelope as well.  Thank you!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


The ticket-themed mail art continues, this time with Susanna Lakner.  Yesterday her pieces were waiting for me in my P.O. Box.  One incorporated the tickets I sent and she also used some German tickets, or EIntrittskarte als man sagt auf Deutsch.  And Susanna included some extra tickets for me to use in future art pieces.  Thank you!    I need more of these tickets in other languages, hmmmmm…..

Monday, November 17, 2014

Circus Mail

Continuing the theme of mail art using carnival and raffle tickets another 12 pieces went out today.  These cards are actually made from a 1980’s Broadway Musical poster for the show Barnum.  The poster was in rough shape and ready for repurposing.  It’s also been a perfect opportunity to use some of the US Postal Service’s Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey stamps.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Full Post Office Box

When you are too busy to get to the post office for a while, the reward is a box jammed with good stuff – unlike at home where my mailbox was filled most every day in October with election mailers.  I definitely prefer mail art.  Here are some the highlights that start with responses to the Keep the Ticket pieces I sent out last month:
  1. Fleur Helsingor incorporated the tickets into a small handmade book.
  2. Marina Salmoso used the tickets for a big piece that also used Denmark’s Hans Wegner postage stamps.
  3. Angela Behrendt collaged the tickets with some ghosties on a postcard – yes, Halloween is spreading in Germany.
  4. Mark Dean is adding paint to card with what looks like fashion ghosts from France.
  5. DK (Diane Keys) sent a piece with a metal ring attached that shows you can get amazing things through the mail without using an envelope.
  6. Pamela Gerard sent an envelope with handmade cards including some things for one of my favorite holidays – Día de los Muertos.  
  7. Samhain Saluations arrived from Maureen Forys.
  8. Adrienne Mason  sent a card from Canada that includes the new Canadian Halloween Postage Stamps (see here). 
Thanks for all the mail and more will be going out from San Francisco later this month.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Comfortable with Keith Haring’s Cocks

Not wanting to wait a moment longer, I went to see the member’s preview of Keith Haring: the Political Line at the de Young yesterday.  It’s the first major museum exhibit of his work in 20 years and it’s marvelous.  Seeing Haring’s work big and bold and in person has much more impact than the ubiquitous greeting cards and calendars we have known for the past two decades.  The show also reminds us that Haring’s work went beyond the “safe” pieces we are familiar with (see greeting cards and calendars).  His work was political, leftist, sexual and queer.  Currently the de Young is filled with room after room of cocks.  There is even some cock sucking right at baby stroller level – and note, it is not fellatio, it’s good ole all American cock sucking!  I can imagine the “Liberal” mommy blogger crowd in San Francisco will be expressing their outrage as soon as they see it. 

Now to be fair, the de Young website does warn us:
Please note that the exhibition contains certain artworks that are adult in nature; images included on this site may be violent, sexual, and/or political in content.”
It’s curious that we have to be warned in San Francisco about political content.  I was perplexed when the de Young’s curator Julian Cox wrote in the companion book and is quoted in the information panel on the wall as saying:
 “Haring had an uncomfortable relationship to the politics of Reagan-era America.”  
Really?  I don’t imagine Keith Haring was uncomfortable – I am sure he knew right where he stood.  I suppose, like so many of us, Haring hated Ronald Reagan and the cabal that put him in power.  Hating the devastating economic policies that still cripple our country today, hating the murderous foreign policy killing thousands of innocent people in Central America, hating the pandering to religious fanatics and hating the ambivalence and criminal negligence when dealing with the AIDS pandemic.  Keith Haring’s blood is on Ronald Reagan’s hands.  If anyone feels uncomfortable here, it might be the rich who control our art museums with their hand picked curatorial staff.  Not all of us have forgotten and acquiesce to historical revisionism surrounding Ronald Reagan.  Many of will never forget or forgive.

But back to happy thoughts – the show is amazing and beautiful and needs to be seen again and again.  Of course you will exit through the gift shop, which I have to say, disappoints.  It’s back to a world of Haring’s safest images commoditized on coffee mugs, greeting cards and refrigerator magnets.  What I really wanted was a magnet version of The Great White Way (seen above), the original is 14 feet tall, but I’d be comfortable with an 8” magnet version on my refrigerator door.