Monday, October 31, 2016

Creepy Mail Art for Halloween

I recently received this little booklet from Philatelic Atrocities in Portland, Oregon.  Technically it is not Halloween-themed mail art, but there is something creepy about that tongue.  This is creepy-in-a-good-way versus the occasional, unsolicited, mail art I receive that, well, is just creepy (don’t worry, you never have to see that stuff).
I discovered a Philatelic Atrocities blog and a book as well.  I assume Niko Courtelis is the artist behind this piece.

Personally I do not miss licking stamps.  I do miss the older engraved stamps, both the look and the hand. Today’s ‘stickers’ are somewhat soulless.   Sometimes I purchase, old, unused stamps, but I use a damp sponge rather than licking them.  It is funny, but for something that we all did at one time, licking the back of a postage stamp just seems nasty now.  But to each his own and I am so glad I received some Last Licks.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mail Art to Remember

I have a life long love of finding ephemera hidden in old books.  I have also left bits and pieces behind in my own personal library over the years.  In 2010 I started distributing art with the intent that the recipients were to hide the art in a book (read about the original piece here).  Over the last five years I have mailed out series of small works and included the instructions that each one was to be hidden in a book.

Next week is one of my favorite holidays, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  While I am very much drawn to the folk art and iconography surrounding the holiday, it is the purpose of the day itself that has deep, personal meaning for me.  It is always important to remember, but I really like the idea of setting aside a day to especially honor and reconnect with those who have departed our lives.

This year, I decided to bring together mail art to be hidden in a book with the holiday when we remember the dead.  There is a new series on the way in the mail, but this one has slightly different instructions enclosed with the art.  When the recipients choose a book, they are instructed to select a book that either:
  • was given to you by a friend or loved one who has departed.
  • belonged to a friend or loved one who has departed.
  • or even a book you know they would enjoy.

The idea being that the art placed in the book is both an offering and another way to connect and remember a friend or loved one who has passed.

If you like this idea and want to make art to hide in books, you can even download and print a copy of the instructions to enclose (you will find them here).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pink Week and Pink Mail Art

The Pink Mail Art show is coming to Pink Week.  This year’s exhibit includes 400 pieces of original, postcard-size art — all sent through the mail.  The art was made by artists of all ages from all around the world including 21 states and 33 countries.  There are small paintings, prints, collages, drawings and a multitude of mixed media works — and the theme they all have in common is they are all pink.

The opening reception is on Friday, November 4, from 6-9 p.m.  The show will remain on exhibit through November 30.

Warehouse Artists Lofts (WAL), 1104 R Street, Sacramento, California

You can preview the pieces on flickr.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It Started on Albion Street

Laguna Dolores (Albion Street), mixed media photo collage on board, 10”x8”

Have you seen my exhibit of Time Travel Photos yet? It includes 26 new photo collages that illustrate San Francisco’s past, present and perhaps even the future.  The show is up until November 27, 2106 at Glama Rama at 304 Valencia Street in San Francisco.

After seeing the show head down to Albion Street between 16th and 17th.  There you will find an historic plaque marking the location of the original Mission Dolores stood on the shores of a shallow lake.  This spot was the inspiration fore the first piece in the series (shown above).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mail Art Rules

Ideally I like to send mail art as a postcard and hope each piece makes it safely through all the postal handling, by humans and machines.  It is risky, as you can never be sure what will happen before the recipient receives their mail.  There are some purists who insist that all mail art is sent this way.  While I am not so orthodox in my approach, I prefer that the pieces for the pink mail art show are sent as postcards.  I also realize it is not always practical.  Robin Sparrow opted for the clear plastic sleeve to reveal and protect the contents.  And, what a surprise, when I realized you could open up her mail and reveal even more.  Frankie Vanity wrote a note on the back of the postcard explaining that the post office requested it be packaged.  All that resin could not blunt those sharp edges, and I don’t mind because I like the piece and am glad it arrived safely.  Max Marchol sent this exquisite pink desert landscape that alas, got a bit scuffed up on the way to San Francisco.  This one I wish had come in an envelope.  But, when you stick in the mailbox, every artist knows the risks….