MinXus Mail Bag: West Coast School by Stan Askew (Pasadena California, USA)

Askew - 9.30.14 - 1

Mail-art by Stan Askew (Pasadena, California, USA)

We offer a huge “Howdy” and a secret MinXus handshake to Stan Askew in Pasadena along with a profuse thank you for this fine package of wonderfully crafted mail-art.

The piece above – best described as an Artists Trading Card (ATC) – is a postcard size work on thick, durable cardboard. The piece is marvelously clear, brilliantly composed using a studied formalism and is a fine example of contemporary mail-art that reveals a self-referential knowledge of its history and the genre. For instance, note the preoccupation with stamps (used as an element of composition) and popcult. The card draws into question accepted notions of vertical/horizontal. Here is the reverse side:

Askew - 9.30.2014 - 2

For several years now, we have advocated a theory of the existence of a West Coast School of mail-art in the USA distinct from the East Coast (that has a more general tendency toward abstraction and anti-art). We believe Stan Askew is a unique practitioner of the West Coast School, offering some important innovations in a lineage that includes several generations. West Coast School members include, but certainly are not limited to, well-known figures such as Mike Dickau (Sacramento, CA); Jokie Wilson (San Francisco, CA); Carla Cryptic (Berkeley, CA); and joey a.k.a. Patrickt (Oakland, CA), among others. Testower in Washington State is certainly a representative of this group. RCBz (Minnesota, USA) is the first mail-artist we know to mention a West Coast School based on a popcult realism dedicated to clarity and craft. David Stafford (Santa Fe, New Mexico) confirmed the validity of a West Coast School (we consider him a member) and suggested Mel Ramos is an important unifying influence. This idea, of course, can only be based on generalities; there are numerous exceptions and hybrids. For instance, we believe Susan McAllister (Berkeley, CA) has far more in common with the East Coast School.

The work above was carefully protected in this sleeve:

Askew - 9.30.2014 - 3

Stan Askew’s departure from popcult realism is evident as well.

Askew - 9.30.2013 - 4

Stan askew also kindly included two, unaltered vintage New York City cards:

Askew - 9.30.2014 - 5

This one is very nice:

Askew - 9.30.2014 - 6

The envelope echoes all the aesthetic elements consistent in this mail-art:

Askew - 9.30.2014 - 7

Again, many thanks to Stan Askew in Pasadena for this wonderful work.

MinXus Mail Bag: MinX Kit for Sinclair Scripa (Ludlow, Vermont, USA)

Sinclair - 9.29.2014 - 1

Mail-art by Sinclair Scripa (Ludlow, Vermont, USA)

Our near-neighbor to the east, Sinclair Scripa, is fast becoming a regular Mink Ranch correspondent. In the spring she sent us a Fluxus event score. Now we are thrilled to share a recent missive that has a more classically themed or vintage, perhaps Art Nouveaux, quality. She also included a letter with a list of questions about the Mink Ranch. Indeed, we have been remiss in not yet sending her a genuine Mink Ranch souvenir package (MinX Kit) nor her prize for participating in the Who Has The Best Hair Contest. We shall resolve this immediately!

Sinclair - 9.29.2014 - 3

All will be revealed!

Sinclair - 9.29.2014 - 2

To enhance the vintage quality of the mailing we believe we have detected, everything came in a wax paper bag skillfully and intricately folded:

Sinclair - 9.29.2014 - 4

Deepest thanks to Sinclair Scripa, our Vermont correspondent. An El Supremo MinX Kit is headed her way!

Sinclair - 9.30.2014 - 1

Sinclair - 9.30.2014 - 2

MinXus Mail Bag: Rare Authentic Genuine Trashpo by Jim Leftwich (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

Jim - 9.29.2014 - 1

Mail-art by Jim Leftwich (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

Although it is not signed and we have endured a number of mail-art pranks, we are confident – based upon examination by experts – that this recently received postcard-size piece is contemporary Trashpo created by none other than Jim Leftwich (aka Jesus Jim).

In the world of Trashpo and DKult, great significance is attached to a series of scannerbed compositions made by Jim Leftwich in 2005 using packaging debris and other trash. These later appeared on Fluxlist Europe circa 2007 and are widely considered prototypes that have had a profound influence on the Trashpo being created today, even in instances where the trashpoet is not familiar with the originals.

Certainly, Trashpo has evolved a long way from those first pieces made by Jesus Jim in 2005. Surely many have wondered: What kind of Trashpo is Jim Leftwich making nearly a decade later? Surprisingly, we have very few examples. Jim Leftwich comments on Trashpo and communicates with DKulters, yet the actual work is scare. This piece, now in the possession of DKULTNY, is a priceless addition to Trashpo. We are pleased to be able to share the image with all who are interested.

Jim - 9.29.2014 - 2

Currently, this work is not being offered for sale by DKULTNY and is presented for artistic exhibition and educational purposes. NO ENQUIRIES CONCERNING PRICE, PLEASE!

MinXus Mail Bag: This & that from Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds (Payson, Arizona, USA)

Mudhead - 9.28.2014 - 1

Mail-art by Chris Reynolds (Peyson, Arizona, USA)

This is the first mail we have received from Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds since his Seers zine was a network sensation earlier this year.

We have come to the conclusion that Chris shares nothing with friends without deep contemplation. Following the workings of his mind and unraveling the message (always profound) is worth the effort and part of the fun. The relation of “see” to “sea” creates the occasion to meditate upon the inter-connected nature of everything in the universe, or at least that is how we see it. “See” also reflects Chris Reynold’s fascination with perception. We have long admired his abilities as a visual artist, and now we are developing an even deeper appreciation for his role as a philosopher.

Mudhead - 9.28.2014 - 2

Some Tenderfoots might recall that after the Seers triumph, Chris Reynolds issued a message stating he was going “off the grid.” We took that to mean specifically the internet. We have seen no indication that he has returned to the aether. Indeed, he is probably only communicating with his many friends via snail. So in that case, we will quickly send him a missive. We are thrilled to keep in touch with Chris Reynolds!

MinXus Mail Bag: Monty Cantsin Mail-Art Mystery (Richmond, Virginia, USA)

Monty - 9.26.2014 - 1

Mail-art by Monty Cantsin (Richmond, Virginia, USA)

We received mail-art from Monty Cantsin and are curious to know who adopted the famous moniker. Monty Cantsin is a multiple user identity anyone can adopt for artistic purposes, and the name has been used in the mail-art network since it was invented by David Zack in the 1970s. MinXus-Lynxus is one of the few blogs in the world that reports on Neoism. Monty Cantsin is associated with Neoism; the only artist with Neoist leanings we know in Virginia is Jim Leftwich (in Roanoke). As shown above, Monty revealed himself on a gambling card. Here is the other side of the card:

Monty - 9.26.2014 - 2

Without the Monty Cantsin twist, we would consider this a Trashpo mailing; discarded lottery cards are a Trashpo staple. The card was enclosed in half of a brown paper bag that has been decorated.

Monty - 9.26.2014 - 3

Initially, when we saw “Seer” on the return address, we thought it was mail-art from Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds, who edits a zine called Seers. Chris often makes designs similar to those on the bag. Upon closer inspection, we grew less certain about Chris Reynolds. He lives in Arizona and has never made a reference to Neoism (as far as we know). The bag also refers to an enclosed nail, which we could not find.

Monty - 9.26.2014 - 4

This is not the first time MinXus-Lynxus has been drawn into Neoist mysteries, although it is the first time we have heard from Monty Cantsin. In typical Neoist fashion, there likely will be no explanation or closure. We could try mailing to the address on the envelope, although we suspect it is fake. If anyone could help us out, the information would be appreciated.

Official MinXus Thank You Card

Minxus card - 9.2014 - 1

Minxus card - 9.2014 - 2

MinXus Mail Bag: Life after Sail-Art is a Po-gression by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK)

Rebecca - 9.25.2014 - 1

Mail-art by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK)

Her friends and attentive Tenderfoots could not have helped but notice our faithful correspondent Rebecca Guyver had an absolutely extraordinary summer with triumphant exhibits and related events that brought art and mail-art to large, appreciative audiences.

Now she is able to return to making art. We must admit to having missed receiving her work for a while. She completely compensates for any lag in her creative process with this marvelous recent work. This postcard-size piece is a gem with its haunting, deeply expressive – perhaps even gothic – tonality. The reverse side excites us – avowed patrons of the textual-visual – even further:

Rebecca - 9.25.2014 - 2

The incremental progression of images along with slight variations is, we believe, a tremendous (and successful) concept. The addition of text moves the piece into the realm of visual poetry and an exploration of language-image relations.

Rebecca - 9.25.2014 - 3

Rebecca Guyver, at least on one level, is becoming more and more a conceptualist, if conceptual involves art that is governed and to a high degree subordinate to ideas:

Rebecca - 9.25.2014 - 4

And the reverse:

Rebecca - 9.25.2014 - 5

Many, many thanks to Rebecca Guyver for this wonderful mail-art!

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58 other followers