Mail art by Chris Wells (Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Chris Wells is currently making a splash in the Eternal Network as well as the visual poetry community with compositions that are receiving high praise. Most notable, at least based on my observation, are works that make innovative use of asemics and erasure, unusual and innovative combinations of avant tropes.
Overall, his work is diverse and shows a willingness to experiment. This wonderful batch of material by Chris Wells that I am sharing today, for example, seems to me a foray into Trashpo. After all, Trashpo is at root a form of visual poetry pioneered by Jim Leftwich (and likely Lannie Quarles) and later refined by Diane Keys. The gigantic influence of David Chirot lurks in the depths of these pieces as well. Here is the reverse side of the opening scan:
Chris Wells even recycles consumer product cardboard in classic Keysian and Canardian fashion. He also writes and shares more conventional poetry. The mailing is given additional depth and breadth with the inclusion of this piece:
Here is another piece Chris Wells sent that I believe shows the influence of Trashpo and, indeed, might be a conscious effort to incorporate the Trashpo aesthetic and methodology:
This work has all the anti-art and disjunctive-disruptive elements of the early Trashpo, including the use of collage and an emphasis on text. These qualities are evident in the asemic section as well. This work remind me of the Punk-oriented pieces by Neil Gordon.
Many thanks to Chris Wells for this wonderful work!