Mail art by Anja Mattila-Tolvanen (Palkane, Finland)
Apparently Anja Mattila-Tolvanen is among the ranks of those artists who believe I (your humble Mink Rancher) am – in truth – the great Monty Cantsin. Legends die hard, and I won’t expend any more time or space protesting I am not Monty Cantsin. (I suppose in a way we are all Monty Cantsin.)
I do, however, envy the great Monty Cantsin for having the ability to inspire Anja to create this wonderful book. I will take good care of it until I see Monty again. Anja’s book is a departure from the image-text pieces we have been documenting lately here at the Mink Ranch. She does wonders with primarily binary juxtapositions of fascinating images. The book has a disguised formalism that, I think, is very effective.
So we say a loud “Howdy,” offer a MinXus secret handshake, wink and whistle upon this, the first appearance of Anja Mattila-Tolvanen with – no less – than a spectacular book! Thanks you, Anja!
Cover of artist’s book by Anja Mattila-Tolvanen
Back cover of artist’s book by Anja Mattila-Tolvanen
Mail art by Cor Reijn (Zaandam, Netherlands)
A hearfelt “Howdy,” a secret MinXus handshake and a wink are extended to new Tenderfoot Cor Reijn who kindly sent us a scrap of a yogurt box all the way from the Netherlands.
Cor Reijn’s mail art couldn’t find a more appreciative home than MinXus-Lynxus. Does he just work with “found” material or does he know of our proud association with Trashpo and DKult? We’ve taken the liberty to call Cor Reijn’s piece Trashpo, with deep respect, because nothing can be more fulfilling to us than to locate themes and repeating image patterns.
Around these parts, we revere Ruud Janssen. He is the first artist to come to mind when we think of the Netherlands. Fact is, however, some very fine mail art is produced in the Netherlands by numerous artists. We see it online and have been very fortunate to receive original works as well. So deepest thanks to Cor Reijn! Don’t be a stranger. As Dark Wall often says: “Once the ice is broke you gonna be changing your britches and there ain’t no goin back afore the ice weren’t broke.”
Mail art by Susanne Schumacher (Hannover, Germany)
A big Mink Ranch “Howdy” and a secret MinXus handshake are extended across “the great water” (as Mingo our trusty forest guide calls it) to Susanne Schumacher: a new Tenderfoot from Germany! We welcome her to our humble blog for the first time.
Susanne Schumacher is not an “Ol’ Bud” (as Fike likes to say) whom we recall encountering along the long and dusty trail. We’d remember a talent like this. All the better! For we have found a most excellent collage artist to follow, new to us.
This image-text piece – economical (in the sense of minimalist art) yet fabulously composed and powerful – is a postcard-size work on sturdy cardboard. A tremendous piece for appreciation and the archives!
Deepest thanks to Susanne Schumacher for gracing MinXus-Lynxus in this, the season of bare trees, grey skies and rain. You’re work has transformed the mundane and lifted our hearts as well as the hearts of our faithful Tenderfoots. We hope to be able to show more work by Susanne in the future!
Mail art by Nadia Aroca (Barcelona, Spain)
Nadia Aroca is a wonderful correspondent. She has been featured heavily on Asemic Front. Now we are thrilled to be able to document an artist’s book she sent here on the ever-humble MinXus-Lynxus blog.
Nadia Aroca’s work tends toward image-text and this work, Porn, can be viewed as visual poetry and has asemic elements. The pages are made with a resilient gold and silver foil, which adds an element of materiality and a pronounced book-as-object aesthetic.
Aroca’s book plays on the “All that glitters is not gold” maxim, yet Porn – as we hope the photos capture – radiates a genuine beauty that – we believe – is neither tawdry nor tarnished. The imagery is primal (some might say archetypal) and in places there is a correspondence with letters and symbols, but Porn is essentially non-linear, which contributes greatly to its success.
Cover of artist’s book by Nadia Aroca
Porn, an artist’s book by Nadia Aroca
By Nadia Aroca (Barcelona, Spain)
By Nadia Aroca
Mail art by Jonathan Disegi (New York City)
Those four-years-too-late entries to the MinXus-Lynxus Who Has The Best Hair Contest continue to pour in. We reiterate: The best hair contest ended in 2014 and the marvelous prizes and titles offered at that time have all been awarded, dispersed and Empress Marie Antonette – our fair judge – has departed, never to return.
What was a mystery a week ago is becoming a tragedy as more bright-eyed hopefuls pathetically grasp for a brass ring that is gone. Deepest thanks to Jonathan Disegi – a Tenderfoot whom we do not know – for sending this most captivating entry. (But five pages are missing?)
In 2014, that lofty Aryan scalp would likely have fetched a few mink pelts in the Contest of Dulcimers. Small consolation, we know. But as Shakespeare said, “What shall be the holly glare in the eye of the Ki/ng when he arrives in Leicestershire after the battle/ has done and truncheons are feasting?”
As is our custom, we offer a big “Howdy” and a secret MinXus handshake on this – his first appearance – upon our humble blog. A first appearance at MinXus-Lynxus is usually an occasion for celebration. But we understand that for this new wave of contest entrants, this momentous moment of passage is tinged with disappointment and bitterness. Thus, we have created an “Also-Ran” category for all the losers who are continuing to send entries to the Who Has The Best Hair Contest.
Mail art by El Taller de Zenon (Miguel Jimenez) (Sevilla, Spain)
El Taller de Zenon – a revered figure in the Eternal Network – joins the New Wave of contributors who have revived the M-L Who Has The Best Hair Contest. In fact, this wonderful material coming in is turning our hit-and-run mail art call from 2014 into a Permanent Wave!
We find the collage pieces sent by El Taller de Zenon to be extraordinary! We are so fortunate to be able to share them with you. Additionally, while El Taller de Zenon (Miguel Jimenez) is known around the globe, this is his first appearance upon the humble MinXus-Lynxus blog.
Mail art by El Taller de Zenon (Miguel Jimenez)
El Taller de Zenon also thoughtfully included an invitation to a visual poetry call, which we are also thrilled to share with our faithful Tenderfoots:
Mail art by Mud Head (aka Chris Reynolds) (Scottsdale, Arizona, USA)
First, Mud Head’s Cat Army (Disorder of the Bee) is essentially a mail art call, so everyone is invited to participate. In our opinion, Cat Army is also one of the most creative, exciting and innovative calls currently being hosted (no criticism of other calls intended).
Cat Army is part of the breed of contemporary calls that combines snail mail with digital, performance art with digital video and numerous other permutations of “intermedia.” Thus, perhaps some postal purists will object to this new breed of “Happenings,” but Cat Army is certainly in the spirit of Fluxus and other aspects of the Ray Johnson mode of mail art.
Mud Head is a gifted post-avant artist – already a legend in the Eternal Network – who works and lives in the spirit of Fluxus and the Post-Fluxus impulse. Mud Head’s work has an added dimension of the visionary and philosophical, which gives it a depth and humanity beyond sterile aesthetics rooted in materialism. In short, Mud Head is the ideal Shaman-artist to lead this new kultur kult which echoes network deconstructive spiritualisms found previously in Neoism, Church of the SubGenius and DKult. Participants are surely in for a great time in this new order of things.
I am going to share some Cat Army propaganda Mud Head mailed me. You can also follow (and even submit work directly) via the “Disorder of the Bee (Cat Army)” page on Facebook:
Mail art by Mud Head (Scottsdale, Arizona, USA)
The envelope by Mud Head:
Official Mud Head photo (really him!) for Cat Army: