Wednesday, January 29, 2020

No Plastic – Try Wax Paper!

I am trying to use less and less plastic, especially products in single-use plastic containers.  Sure, you can put it in the recycling bin, but there is such a glut of plastics, they end up in a landfill anyway.
I though the best way to respond to a “No Plastic” mail art call  was to create some mail art using wax paper.  Wax paper is old-fashioned, biodegradable/compostable and can often be used in place of plastic bags and wrap.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A Catalog of Collage Objects

Like any collage artist, I run the risk of becoming a hoarder.  When you make collage, you are always on the hunt for objects to use.  Boxes of collage fodder begin to fill up and then, when are you going to get around to using it all? MUNI passes going back to your 1990 arrival in San Francisco, Czech matchbox labels, vintage cigarette cards purchased in New Zealand 25 years back, fortune cookie fortunes from years of lunch specials. It all just keeps accumulating. 
My collage work has evolved.   Nowadays I tend to make my own material by painting paper, cutting and reassembling.  I really have little reason to save these things anymore.  In an effort to thin out the hoard I have been creating artist books and then purging, recycling, donating and giving away the rest.  
My latest effort is a A Catalog of Collage Objects  where each pair of pages is dedicated to 19 different ephemeral objects.  Some of the highlights are show here.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Oh Rats!

It’s time for some Year of the Rat mail art — postcards with hand carved rubber rat stamps.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Handful of Mail

Hands are a recurring theme in and assortment of belated holiday mail as well as some new year’s greeting which arrived in the last few weeks.  They include a piece from Peter Müller which had an enigmatic material glued to it.  Most of it cracked and fell off in transit.  Also, there was a mucky rendition of the swamp from Rebecca Guyver.  A photo and card from Sacramento artist Cherie Hacker. The lamp and table have been photographed in different settings since 2003.  And final, after seeing my post, Katerina Nikoltsou was inspired to make some aerogram-inspired mail art herself.  She started with color copies of original aerograms.  Ones she had mailed to an aunt in Chicago years back.  I am wondering if an aerogram revival is at hand — at least for mail artists.   

The mail shown here includes:
  1. Peter Müller – Germany
  2. Sally Wassink – California 
  3. Maria Quiroga – Argentina 
  4. Debra Mulnick – Idaho
  5. Rebecca Guyver – UK                                
  6. Fleur Helsingor – California 
  7. Jennie Hinchcliff – California 
  8. Kathy Barnett – Missouri
  9. Cherie Hacker – California 
  10. Katerina Nikoltsou - Greece

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Mail Art at the Getty

They currently are having a mail art exhibit at the Getty in Los Angeles.  You will not find a mail art show on their website.  The curators are not describing the work as mail art but it is there as part of the show Manet and Modern Beauty.  
The exhibit begins with a gallery full of Manet’s dough-faced portraits.  The highlight in the gallery is not a portrait but a painting of a plate of oysters.  Are we allowed to make fun of any Manet portrait?  I clearly was in the minority – the gallery was packed with visitors stepping over themselves to gawk and photograph.  
In the next gallery the crowds thin and you find delicate watercolors along with Manet’s illustrated letters sent from Bellevue.  Manet the impressionist, and Manet the Mail Artist.  The exhibit continues with a gallery filled with flawless still lives of fruit and flowers.  With exception of Georgia O’Keeffe, I don’t usually get excited about paintings of flowers.  The trick with Manet is look at vases. Manet’s crystal vases are magic, pure magic.