Saturday, January 9, 2021

Books and Connected Things


As I continue painting books with my Chaekgeori-inspired series I am also documenting.  I am recording my own home as well as the homes of my friends.  This latest one shows the top shelf of the bookcase that sits behind my television.  Yes, don’t get fooled by all the books, I also watch TV.  Note the remote control and the even an antenna.   I don’t pay for cable, I have Sutro Tower beaming PBS into my living room.

The other things with the books include some spider plant clones, a vintage folding measuring stick and a piece of mail art from Robin Sparrow.  I display some of the favorite pieces of mail art that I receive on my bookshelves.  There is a wooden folk carving I picked up in Poland years ago and, on the wall, you can see the bottom of one of the Post-Folk Art pieces I did — a series inspired by Polish folk art.  

Tucked behind the remote control is a 4x4 inch piece I did for the 2011 Project.   

In 2011 I made a small piece of art each day for the entire year (365 in total).  It was not planned, but it is perfect that this 2011 piece was inspired by a visit to the Asian Art Museum — much like this series of Chaekgeori.  

Friday, January 1, 2021

Adios 2020

Took a walk to the post office yesterday and found Debra Mulnick’s mail art waiting for me in my p.o. box.   A perfect end to 2020.

Friday, December 18, 2020

2020 un-holiday card

 Let’s get it together so we can get back together in 2021. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Wear a Mask!

A new series of mail art using hand-carved rubber stamps

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Handbag?

Handbag?  Yes, a Handbag.  Lots of handbags, purses and pocketbooks all in a museum exhibit at the V&A in London.  These products might be worth a lot but are they worthy of a museum exhibit?  


I won’t be traveling to London to see this one. But if I did, I would set up a pop-up exhibit out in front of the museum.   I would place cardboard boxes on the street as display stands to show off the best knock-off handbags $10 can buy.  

  “No officer, these bags are not for sale.  This is performance art!”

If the de Young is negotiating to host this show, I’ll be ready…

I actually have some history with handbags.   Like most artists, I ended up doing some temp work.   One time the agency sent me on an assignment to a small, designer handbag company.  I headed South of Market to a warehouse in an alley near the Stud.   This was the 1990s, back when some of the warehouses were still warehouses.   There was even a sweatshop on the first floor.


The space was filled with cardboard crates full of new merchandise shipped from overseas.  In one corner was an office area.   The temps (we started with three of us) had to work on the floor in the middle of everything.   Our job was to take new, large craft paper boxes and cut and fit them, inside and out, with pretty handmade paper (they spent a fortune at Flax).  The paper had to be spray glued into place.  It was labor-intensive and each box took nearly an hour to finish.  The plan was to use the pretty boxes to ship samples to journalists, fashionistas, etc.   “P.R. Sweetie.  P.R.!” 


A handful of enthusiastic, young women worked in the corner office.  All were very well dressed — especially to come to work in a urine-soaked alley.  They were nice and pretty much left us to our task.  Occasionally you would overhear snippets of conversation.   Let’s just say, I never needed to watch Sex in the City.   I lived it for about a week.


For a temp job, this was a better one.   Still, one of my temp coworkers never returned from lunch.   Another stopped showing up after a few days.  I was delighted.  More work for me.  All by myself, I worked about 9 days at this company.


They were in such a hurry, they asked me to come in on a Saturday.  There I was, all by myself, making overtime.   And here was my chance.   I could steal a few handbags.  But then I asked myself, “What would I do with them?  Who would I give them to?”  I thought about it.  My mom, my sister, all of my friends who carry a purse — not one of them would have any use for these delicate, useless little handbags.  No shoulder straps, small and impractical.  For the record, I did not steal a thing.


At that moment I began to realize the real purpose of carrying a designer handbag.  It is not just about the label and the cost. A woman carrying a precious handbag communicates to the world that she only goes to places where she does not have to worry.  Nothing bad happens in her world.  She certainly does not take public transportation.   Does she even walk down a street in a “bad” neighborhood? That handbag says she rides in a very expensive car.  Like those impractical and tortuous high heels, the handbag is way to reinforce her class and her perceived status.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Faces in the Mail

Sometimes I am truly amazed by the mail art that makes it through the postal system.   This handmade, cardboard face arrived in San Francisco from William Mellott in Taiwan.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Fall Mail


The distraction and fear over the election is now over.   We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s time to review some of the mail art that has arrived in recent months:


  1. Meral Agar – Turkey 
  2. Fleur Helsingor - California 
  3. Barbara Stasiowski – California 
  4. Marina Salmaso – Denmark
  5. R.F. Côté — Canada
  6. Peter Müller – Germany
  7. Maria Quiroga – Argentina 
  8. Gregg Biggs – Museum of Unclaimed Ephemera – California
  9. Keith Chambers – California
  10. Serse Luigetti – Italy