MinXus Mail Bag: Authentic Fake Ray Johnson from Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Canard - rj - 1

Fake Ray Johnson mail-art by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Richard Canard is an excellent Mink Ranch correspondent. He sent us this  most amazing contribution for the great MinXus USA Archives. We can now confess to secretly pining for one of these pieces for a long time: One of Richard’s legendary/notorious Ray Johnson fakes.

For the 10,000th time we brazenly name drop that Richard Canard was a member of the original New York Correspondance [sic] School and probably Buddha University, maybe the Spam Radio Club (one of our favs), and numerous other iterations. The truth is, it is a joy to trade and learn from Richard. And sometimes it’s just nice to feel like Old Times in this hyper-paced, discordant evolution that marks the Eternal Network today.

Every part of this piece references some aspect of RayJo’s work (there might some authentic RayJo shreds in there, but we’ll never know).

The fake Ray Johnsons (created by more people than Richard of course) have received some attention and, as research indicates, frankly, got some folks in hot water. Who knows how far back in time the faking goes. After Ray’s departure from us in 1995, the true faithfuls continued to release mail-art under his name. That’s the Network. That’s the spirit. That’s a tribute.

There was a problem. After Ray Johnson’s death, collectors suddenly jumped in trying to snap up anything by Ray Johnson for (relatively) little money: A kind of art market speculation game and a something-for-nothing greed lust. One place of interest for them was E-Bay. They bid up the Ray Johnsons, not understanding mail-art or the bottom line: They were purchasing fakes. E-Bay cracked down on this seeming art forgery. There were instances, not necessarily related to Richard, where angry buyers were demanding refunds. We will speculate RayJo would have loved it.

Possibly born of this impulse, Richard has continued to create these wonderful pieces that honour Ray.

canard - rj - 2

In turn of course, MinXus-Lynxus recently launched the Fake Richard Canard Series. Here is the original post:


MinXus-Lynxus is proud as punch to own this genuine fake.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: MinXus Mail Bag: Elvis-Themed Ray Johnson Fake by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA) | MinXus-Lynxus

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