MinXus Mail Bag: Retrospective-In-A-Bag by Jayne Lyons (Lakeville, Minnesota, USA)

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Mail art by Jayne Lyons (Lakeville, Minnesota, USA)

 

Recently Jayne Lyons celebrated her first year in the Eternal Network. This was, we think here at the ranch, a cause for celebration indeed because Jayne Lyons is a Tenderfoot who is emerging as an engaging “mail art persona” & sharing art that crosses a wide spectrum & appeals to many friends.

The significance of one year in the network appears to shrink in comparison to the decades of accomplishment we see in, for example, John M. & C Mehrl Bennett, Richard Canard, CrackerJack Kid, Ficus strangulensis, Sinclair Scripa (Tania), Carl Baker… you get the idea. Yet even a relative veteran knows a year is a long duration (sentence?) in Mail Art Time, which is not conventional time as experienced by “Normals,” as the SubGenius folks say.

Jayne Lyons has made important contributions to Trashpo and DKult; vintage, crafts, folk art-oriented mail art ( known as Mail Art Nouveaux at the Mink Ranch); and now she is involved in vispo & asemics. The pieces on display in this blog are a mailing of scale that provides a convenient retrospective of her work in the network thus far. The pieces are large & numerous.

This is yet another occasion to mourn the cost of mailing art. Once mail art was an inexpensive, egalitarian way to share material art lavishly with an appreciative audience. We understand this is no longer the situation & thus appreciate more this tremendous collection from Jayne Lyons done in classic mail art form.

 

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Stamp collage on the reverse:

 

 

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Mail Art by Jayne Lyons (Minnesota, USA)

 

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“Ode to Sloan” February 27, 2019. By Jayne Lyons

 

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Mail art by Jayne Lyons (includes asemic vispo by De Villo Sloan)

 

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Lost Legend Found: Meta-Trashpo by Thom Courcelle (Vermont, USA)

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Mail art by Thom Courcelle (Rutland, Vermont, USA)

 

We’re thrilled to see art by Thom Courcelle circulating in the Eternal Network again after a lengthy absence. We’re even more thrilled that some of his wonderful work found its way to our humble MinXus-Lynxus blog.

We believe Thom Courcelle is a wonderfully inventive & talented artist generally. He is also one who has earned the designation Legend of Trashpo fairly & squarely. Thom Courcelle was part of the extraordinarily hard working & deeply creative group that launched Trashpo & made it a network phenom. His friendship & regard for Diane Keys made him an early & devout Kulter.

So Thom Courcelle ranks among Diane Keys, KDJ, Nancy Bell Scott, Erni Baer, Lucky Pierre, Richard Canard, Borderline Grafix, Jim Leftwich, Gerda Osteneck, Jain Lions, Rebecca Guyver, Mail Art Martha, Svenja Wahl & select others (apologies if we forgot) whom we know today as Legends of Trashpo.

Mail art is intense & time consuming. No matter how much artists love the network, it is not uncommon for them to take breaks often due to life’s changing demands. Some never return. The best we can ever do is be understanding, helpful & let people follow their individual paths & evolution. But it’s always great when someone, especially someone much beloved like Thom Courcelle, returns. We hope he can manage to stay connected because he brings so much to all of us.

 

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Not Just Your Average Jonestown: The Rise of #dsfcult (Dopesick San Francisco)

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Mail art by DSF (Dopesick San Francisco) (aka Michael Kelly) (Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA)

 

We could begin this entry with a pithy, allusive statement such as: “By 2020 every mail artist will have their own cult.”

But any Tenderfoot who grazes even casually in these Elysian Fields of the Mink Ranch knows we are longtime DSF fans & can thus cut to the chase sooner than later. We’ve even named him among the Top 10 Mail Artists Active Today. And Dark Wall says it’s high time we fish in the MinXus Mail Bag for more recent work received from DSF that might have escaped earlier efforts. So here are some examples. And we want to give you an update on this #dsfcult business.

DSF is prolific & hardworking. He has a knack for producing memorable images (usually using the postcard form) & seeing they reach the right recipients on the ground & net for maximum exposure to benefit us all. The cards, stickers etc. are released in what could be considered “editions” with occasional hand alterations.

 

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Now for the Eternal Network news in case you missed it: DSF has now declared himself a cult. Apparently he is not content with the old Ray Johnson notion of fan clubs, but then we’ve all seen the influence & success of DKult for nearly a decade (preceded earlier by the Church of the Subgenius). #dsfcult might easily have the best marketing of them all. You can access a floating, changing body of material easily. You can even participate:

http://picdeer.com/tag/dsfcult

DSF/Michael Kelly has been embraced by DKult and the Trashpoets for some time. Relations remain strong despite this quasi-schism. Diane Keys & her court have no concern a neighbor has declared himself a cult. In fact, it as an inevitable & logical part of the evolution of mail art.

DSF 3.26.2019 - 3Mail art by DSF/Michael Kelly (Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA)

Things have also changed in the DSF line-up due to the sad passage of Karina the Dog who was DSF’s double & artistic inspiration.  We have noted previously the phenom of animals becoming mail art “stars.” Karina the Dog is one of the greats – RIP. In the wake & grief of Karina’s passage, DSF was left to re-invent himself necessarily. What we might be witnessing here is the emergence of a new persona.

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And finally, a few words about DSF we believe are of importance & offer insight into an artist who can be as cryptic & indeterminate as anyone in the network. In previous posts, we have praised DSF for his continuation of the Punk/anti-art stance that gave mail art energy & a new incarnation spanning the 80s into the first half of the 90s. Whether DSF had any connection to the earlier postal wave is unknown to us, but he clearly lived the life of the Marginals.

With the Punk aesthetic came nihilism, angst, alienation & despair, which was yet a continuation of the existential despair that ran through Western culture in the 60s & 70s &, yes, mail art too. BUT in a close examination of DSF’s work you will find an uplifting message about the human spirit & salvation. He is a realist but comes from a philosophical place far different from the despairing Punks of yore. DSF is much more a modern reconsideration of time spent on “Desolation Row” with different conclusions.

Deepest thanks, as ever, to DSF/Michael Kelly!

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MinXus Mail Bag: “Trash without the Po” by Vikki Johnson (Morrison, Colorado, USA)

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Mail art by Vikki Johnson (Morrison, Colorado, USA)

It’s always gratifying to see a new mail artist – like a glorious butterfly emerging from a cocoon – begin to explore the forms, traditions & innovations unique to the Eternal Network.

So we are extra thrilled to extend a big “Howdy,” a wink & a secret MinXus handshake to Vikki Morrison of Colorado who graces our humble pages today with this foray into the realm of Trashpo. While Vikki Johnson demures & claims to extend only a toe into the landfill, we find much to admire in this work.

This is a large postcard-size piece apparently constructed of found materials. The interwoven hairs (?), fur (?), lint (?) add to the textural quality. Additionally, the work is sprinkled with glitter! Vikki Johnson is probably not aware of the Great Glam Glitter Revival being led by Legend of Trashpo DharmaDaDa Neil Gordon and my humble self.

I fancy that this mail art smells like banana bubble gum, but I am prone to curious neurological abnormalities that are the result of my participation as a human test subject in various scientific research projects long ago. These distortions can come upon me at any time, triggered by some random stimulus (perhaps hair or fur?). Thus, Vikki Johnson’s piece functions on several sensory levels, including touch. The Trashpoets know this as Haptic Poetry.

 

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Vikki Johnson’s kind message, unfortunately, raises only questions for me. Here is the precise quote that inspired the title: “This glue-y postcard may be Trash, but it’s definitely not po(etry).” Humility is a winning quality among Trashpoets & DKulters. But I can assure Vikki this piece qualifies as Trashpo. I must add that it lacks the organic “DKhaos” that has inspired so many Trashpoets; however, this kind of formal composition used by Vikki is used to great benefit in much Trashpo. Trashpo by Claire aka Cleo is a FAB example.

Vikki’s comments about opting “to take off the questionably successful stamps” and the reference to the “pizza circle” being lost in the mail are completely baffling to me. But overall, this is a marvelously successful venture into Trashpo (imho).

 

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MinXus Mail Bag: Trashpo by Cor Reijn (Zaandam, Netherlands)

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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.

 

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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.”

 

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MinXus Mail Bag: “Minkus” Collages by Jayne Lyons (Lakeville, Minnesota, USA)

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Mail art by Jayne Lyons (Lakeville, Minnesota, USA)

 

Tenderfoot Jayne B. Lyons is raising eyebrows in the Eternal Network with her spectacular collages, and she is nothing less than a raving sensation among the Trashpoets and DKulters.

As ever on your faithful MinXus-Lynxus pages we offer a big “I told you so,” a wink, and a secret Mink Ranch handshake. We predicted mail-art stardom for Jayne B. Lyons the minute we first saw her work. She has now blessed us with three strong, new beautiful collages we are thrilled to share. Even though Jayne has renamed our venerable movement “Minkus,” we see her as a kindred spirit as much as we can in this Post-MinXus age given her absorption in Trashpo.

Collage has been a tradition and a strength of the mail art network for over a half century. Jayne B. Lyons joins and is working within that tradition, offering both innovation and relevance. Our “reliable sources” tell us that Jayne is a diligent sleuth and scholar, digging into network history. This shows in her work. She knows many classic collage tropes and misses entirely the Tenderfoot peril of “reinventing the wheel.”

She also makes timely reference to current mail art trends and personalities. For instance, she sent a classic study of none other than Queen of Trashpo Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA). So let’s see if we can follow the iconography. We have DKult allusions in “Minkus” collage:

 

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Diane Keys collage portrait by Jayne B. Lyons

 

Jayne B. Lyons also sent a not-so flattering portrait at the great yet elusive and extraordinarily handsome mail art genius De Villo Sloan. Unfortunately, Jayne did not allow the piece to dry properly and some sort of tissue paper is permanently attached to the piece. Perhaps this is actually an interesting interjection of “chance operations.”

 

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Also in FAB mail art tradition, the large envelope is an excellent piece itself:

 

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Deepest thanks to Jayne B. Lyons!

MinXus Mail Bag: Collage & Ephemera by Discoflux (Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA)

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Mail art by Discoflux (Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA)

 

We holler a big “Howdy” and extend a secret MinXus handshake and a nod and a wink to Discoflux who brightens our ever-so-humble pages with this FAB collage, which she placed in the context of an altered greeting card. Here is how the card initially appears before you open it:

 

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This mailing by Discoflux includes a Trashpo-like collection of material, but it is not all found un-altered. Very interesting redacted writing and an anagram are included:

 

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And the marvelous envelope:

 

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Many thanks to Discoflux!