MinXus Mail Bag: Iconic Post-Pop by Jon Foster (Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA)

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Mail-art by Jon Foster (Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA)

Most likely due to Ray Johnson’s influence, mail-art has always been a supportive place for Popart, even during periods when the impulse has waned in the mainstream artworld. Indeed, the amazing outpouring of pop-oriented material in the network indicates the genre is inexhaustible in terms of subject matter as well as concepts. Mail-art, arguably, has produced its own enduring form of Popart (not strictly by the art history book definitions but a variant).

Innovations are constantly appearing, and I consider Jon Foster one of the great current pop masters in the network: His talent seems boundless, and he clearly has done his homework (via Ray Johnson and Richard Canard especially). So I am thrilled to have received this iconic, retro piece that uses his famed ripped tape technique.

Jon’s particular post-Pop aesthetic transgresses the flat (some say vacant) one-dimensional planes of original Popart; it’s self-reflective, meditative and sometimes anti-realist, not merely a re-working of old conventions. Jon Foster has a great eye and is an image-scholar, gathering and juxtaposing material (language included) across phases of cultural history. This current work has it all: nods to pulp noir, fashion, advertising and commodification as well as a reminder of the deeper strains of misogyny in USA culture.

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This is already a favorite piece, and I extend many thanks to Jon Foster for sending!

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