Replacement stamps by Carl T. Chew (Seattle, Washington, USA) and Claudio Romeo (Italy)

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Stamp collaboration by Carl T. Chew (Seattle, Washington, USA) and Claudio Romeo (Italy)

A few months ago, the great mail-artist and stamp master Carl T. Chew sent us a set of magnificent stamps that were, sadly, mangled somewhere in the postal system. Carl apparently saw our blog of the battered material and very kindly sent these new stamps, which arrived intact. They are the result of a collaboration between Carl and Claudio Romeo of Italy. W think they are absolutely extraordinary. Here is a closer view:

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In addition to being a great collab, these stamps are also part of an add-and-pass projec

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We are not sure that we are worthy of making a humble addition to this remarkable project. For now, we will hold on to the stamps, hoping we will be struck with inspiration.

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Deepest thanks go to Carl T. Chew as well as congratulations to Claudio Romeo!


MinXus Mail Bag: Haddock – Blaster Al stamp via Amy Irwen (Rosemount, Minnesota, USA)

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Wild Billy Haddock stamp sent via Amy Irwen (Rosemont, Minnesota, USA)

Here at the Mink Ranch, we have been Haddock fans for many moons. Haddock, aka Wild Bill Haddock and Wild Billy Haddock, is a veteran mail-artist who is part of the vibrant generation that includes John M. Bennett, Blaster Al Ackerman, David Zack and many notable others. We love Haddock’s work, but we do not know very much about him, other than that we can trace his activity as far back as the 1970s. He is still active and living in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

IUOMA friend Amy Irwen has struck up a correspondence with the venerable Haddock. Learning of our admiration for this mail-art legend, Amy passed along a stamp she received from him:

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What a stunning piece to add to the archives! This is a truly thoughtful gift from Amy Irwen! Now that Haddock is on the radar, we will be sure to drop him a line. Again, many thanks, Amy.

MinXus Mail Bag: Fake art from Fine Art (Escondido, California, USA)

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Mail-art by Fine Art (Escondido, California, USA)

New friend Fine Art in balmy Escondido honored us with this beautiful mail-art that bears her “FAKE FINE ART” stamp. We have noted previous work she has done in this spirit during the preceding months and surmise that, perhaps, this is part of a series. Regardless, we consider “FAKE FINE ART” a marvelous concept, intended or otherwise.

Social commentators frequently tell us we live in a time when people long for the “authentic,” presumably because so many cultures and societies lack the authentic. Indeed, some have even suggested the idea of the Simulacra: We live increasingly in a reality that is entirely contrived, disconnected from both meaning and nature, manipulated by forces beyond our control. Mail-art, of course, is an antidote. Yet it is also a medium that has for many years interrogated the idea of the authentic and perpetuated discussions about what is and what is not art. Fine Art’s use of abstraction in the piece is an apt choice because abstract art in particular has invited questions about the nature of art. Is all art, ultimately, fake?

We applaud our friend from Escondido for not only producing fine art but for creating an art concept that might best be described as concept art. In our estimation the piece is lovely and deeply thought provoking but still carries a hint of the ingenuous, which is ingenious.

If this art is fake, then we need more fake art.

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Deepest thanks go to Fine Art. Many more examples of her talent can be found here: