MinXus Mail Bag: “Make Them” with Bonniediva (Gurnee, Illinois, USA)

Mail art by Bonniediva (Gurnee, Illinois, USA)

Bonniediva became an instant Mink Ranch sweetheart with her first missive some months ago. You Tenderfoots loved it, and so did we. Now we are thrilled to have this second piece as a FAB follow up. To us, Bonniediva has skated through the “Terrible Twos” (that ever-challenging follow-up when your first piece was smashing.) Over time, it’s great to get to know our Mink Ranch friends better. On the reverse side, Bonniediva shared some info on her artistic philosophy:

Who would have thought Bonniediva approached her incredible collage with Eye-rony? But then is she not a member of the IUOMA? Ironic Union of Mail Artists? We are just joking. We love Bonniediva’s work. We’ll take it.

Deepest thanks to Bonniediva! A special package on the way to you!

MinXus Mail Bag: Add & Pass Sheets + More by Joey Patrickt (Oakland, California, USA)

Moan Lisa a&p sheet from Joey Patrickt (Oakland, California, USA)

 

Here is a selection of pieces from Mink Ranch regular Joey Patrickt. We have added some Kulter material to the Moan Lisa add and pass. Other contributors to the piece are Jon Foster (North Carolina, USA), Toni Hanner (Oregon, USA) and – of course – Dkult Joey:

Another add and pass that seems to originate with Jon Foster:

The reverse:

Now here is some solo work by Joey Patrickt:

Here is a closer look at the stamp aka the “DKULTJoey stamp”:

A piece of copy art in the grand tradition of mail art copyart:

As ever, thanks to Joey Patrickt and DKULTJoey!

MinXus Mail Bag: Instant Classic Correspondence Art by Allison Anne (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Mail art by Allison Anne (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Allison Anne is always a welcome friend here at M-L and now on the Asemic Front as well.

Here at the Mink Ranch we are, as the old saying goes, forever “a day late and a dollar short” when it comes to giving Tenderfoots a sneak peek into our ever-amazing mailbag. And this piece – made by Allison Anne in April – is a standout we are thrilled to be able to document, finally.

Can a piece of mail art be a  “perfect” composition? Allison Anne has managed to blend the best qualities of the mail art tradition with contemporary innovations that keep the network thriving today. We’ll try to let you form your own responses, but we’d like to point out three notable aspects of this art by Allison Anne:

The outside envelope is FAB and totally integrated with the work. In our estimation, Allison Anne has a tremendous sense of color – or maybe her aesthetics just match our own sensibilities. Whatever, we think the envelope is gorgeous. A closer view:

The reverse:

Tremendous envelope art for those who truly love mail art! The centerpiece of the work is a collage-assemblage that uses Allison Anne’s hair – a wonderful inclusion that looks back on sentimental postal traditions of the 19th century (at least that far back) as well as avant garde art. (The duality of this work is what makes it so strong.) Does Allison Anne know about the MinXus Who Has The Best Hair Contest (2014)? We always say: “MinXus is about who has the best hair.” So Allison Anne scores a gigantic Mink Ranch hit with this piece:

Allison Anne also uses the envelope-within-an-envelope concept. This gives the piece additional depth:

Inside is a seven-page letter! This is why we use the term Correspondence Art in the title of this post. One stark difference between contemporary mail art and pre-internet mail art is the disappearance of letters and writing as part of the exchange process. (Ray Johnson used letters heavily.)

Letters are hardly necessary today. Most mail artists communicate via the net and exchange material (rather than digital) art. The whole thing works very smoothly. But there are certainly people wishing to explore the letter form, and Allison Anne has done that in an interesting way this piece.

We won’t publish the entire letter, but here is a sample:

Allison Anne uses a portion of the letter to explain her thoughts on the composition of this FAB mail art package. Thus, the work is made self-reflexive, process oriented and we are given a conceptual framework. Here is an explanatory passage from Allison Anne’s letter: “… i’ve been saving clippings from my haircuts for the past year or so (I do my own hair…. crudely. beauty school dropout – seriously!) & have been thinking about doing a series of moveable reliquary collages – like catholic scapulars mixed w/a memento mori – always had a fascination w/ Victorian hair jewelry/ wreaths/ mourning objects… the idea of an object that’s more like a ‘memento temporis’….” Fantastic text that enhances the work!

Deepest thanks to Allison Anne for the great piece!

MinXus Mail Bag: Post-Victorian DaDa by Gin (Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

Mail art by Gin (Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

Over several years, Gin has become a wonderful correspondent via snail mail and online. Her respites from the Eternal Network are lamented by all. Her returns are triumphant. I am so pleased to have received this lovely piece from her, as she appears to be working overtime connecting and re-connecting.

Gin’s art is authentic and sincere. I always marvel at the positive reception she receives. In this piece, I am particularly impressed with the poetry. At the risk of being vague I would offer the observation: Just when you think you have Gin figured out (artistically) she opens some door you never imagined was there that leads to some breathtaking and previously unknown depth.

A quick glance might lead one to consider Gin the maker of very fine greeting cards. (Nothing wrong with that.) But all I can say is: Look closely. These are not greeting cards. They might not fit into conventional categories such as DaDa, Surrealism or Deconstruction. Maybe “Outsider” is the most applicable term. But they take you to a place where no greeting card would dare to take you and they explore emotional states and contrived sentiments. Gin is a Romantic in the sense that I believe her work is all about feeling, and things work best when you just follow where her art takes you. What I find at the core of it is a great and generous love.

I’ve tried to maneuver myself to the topic of Victorian DaDa. Gin has created a mail art movement that has some legs. (I am flattered to say she based her idea on a random comment I made.) I do not want to associate Gin forever with Victorian DaDa. I doubt she wants that. I do not believe this piece she sent is Victorian DaDa, so I playfully used Post-Victorian DaDa in the title.

I am deeply moved by this wonderful piece, and it’s great to see Gin in the mail again!

MinXus Mail Bag: “Astronomy for Dogs” by Tiina (aka Tina) Kainulainen (Helsinki, Finland)

Mail art by Tiina Kainulainen (Helsinki, Finland)

A huge “Howdy,” a wink and a secret MinXus handshake go out to Tiina Kainulainen of Helsinki. She kindly sent this FAB collage, which marks her first appearance upon this humble blog. Do we have another Carina Granlund blossoming? No. No one can ever be Carina Granlund other than Carina Granlund. But we deeply value making new friends in Finland.

Many thanks to Tina (Tiina)