Friday, December 22, 2017

cOPY aRT 1980 TV

Evening Magazine 1980

"Way Bay, an innovatively organized exhibition of art, film, performance, poetry, and archival materials, is a sweeping exploration of the creative energies that have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area over two hundred years. Featuring more than two hundred works by Bay Area artists and others whose work engages directly with the region’s geographic and cultural landscape, the exhibition highlights artists—especially women and artists of color—whose contributions have been under recognized."

I am represented via a TV promo aired in 1980. I have very short hair because of a performance I was part of at Inter DADA 80.

One component that interests me is the San Quentin Prison Studio Mail Art Exchange. Some mail artists I know are sending in work.

Exhibits and activities are held January 17–May 6, 2018

Courtesy of UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY ART MUSEUM & PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE, LaMamelle art space, Evening Magazine, and Copy Art Exhibition.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Richard Hambleton - 1952 to 2017

Scene from Blitzkunst taken in San Francisco 1979

Ginny Lloyd: Sorry to read about Richard's death. He stayed at my place in San Francisco for about a week as a favor for a gallery in town. I hardly saw him since he slept all day and was out all night working his magic on the city walls and pavement. I was beginning work on the book "Blitzkunst" so had the forethought to take this photo. I think it says a lot about Richard.

Monty Cantsin Amen: Thanks Ginny, I saved this. Whatever else comes to your mind pls message it, and if you see friends from mail-art or SF connection, etc, let them know I'm collecting memories, many thanks.

Ginny Lloyd: Thanks Monty for asking for my thoughts or other comments. In my conversations with Richard he had a plan and was determined to achieve stardom. He was handsome in a male model way and very intelligent. He talked about how he wanted a life about “wine, women and song”. 

Monty Cantsin Amen: That's a great pic you put up here. Richard was a good model. Do you have it in high res?  
Kazu Yanagi with Monty Cansin Amen - 1980

Ginny Lloyd: Yes I have one.  

Monty Cantsin Amen: I'm writing his biography. Let people know who might have comments.

Ginny Lloyd: The first time I saw the outlined image looking like a crime scene I hesitated to walk on it wondering what it was for. He liked to watch from a distance to see the reactions people had to this ‘scene”. His impromptu shadow paintings were popular after trying the paper posters. It was obvious he was a painter when you saw the shadow people. I believe he was in Brazil for a spell living the high life the last time I heard anything about him. Or maybe that was someone else. I don’t like the way the art world has shunned him instead of showing compassion. His story reads like a painter’s tale of a different era, like one of the gifted greats.

Note: There are several articles about Richard online. He was also part of Club 57, the club discussed in the previous post. In 2010 two rare Richard Hambleton pieces at the amfAR 17th Annual Cinema Against AIDS Gala During the Cannes Film Festival sold for $960,000.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Club 57 Catalog

Amy Chaiklin has done a good job keeping us informed. Thanks Amy!

The 1982 feminist group exhibition of all female artists is now documented and published in a museum exhibition catalog, Club 57 and the Short, Happy Life of the East Village Art Scene written by Laura Hoptman, MoMA Curator of Painting and Sculpture.

This exhibit has made Art History! 

 Also some additional people you may know exhibited there: Carlo Pittore, Buster Cleveland, john EvAns, Sur, and Brian Doherty. Mark Bloch got mentions too. Mark says its a very interesting show.


Art History! MoMA Curator Ron Magliozzi writes in his catalogue essay:

Art is What you Make it: Club 57 and the Downtown Scene, "Homemade zines and copy art proved among the most useful and accessible mediums of choice on the downtown scene, and exhibitions such as Watch These Girls: 19 Women Who Do Copy Art (October 14, 1982), curated by Amy Chaiklin, confirmed that women had taken the lead in shaping the medium's creative uses.".

MoMA Club 57 : Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village 1978-1983 Exhibition Catalog Page 16.

Image: Orginal poster for “Watch These Girls : 19 Women Who Do Copy Art”, offset print, 22 x 18 inches, 1982

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bill Whorrall Exhibits My Kind of Twisted Humor

 I have corresponded with Bill off and on for over 33 years and this is an example why receiving his art has never gotten stale. Bill, you keep me laughing! Thank you! We need this to counter balance all the news of disasters in the world and Washington, DC.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Australia Artists Book Fair - Inter DaDa 84 book was selected for the fair

Richard Tipping provided this great view of the fair. Click to enlarge this impressive image.

Volume 2017 - Jim Anderson was there at 5 in the afternoon on Friday (13th October) and took a few quick photos with the tables barely set up and the crowd arriving. The Fair continues through Saturday and Sunday. They say the big publishers are having a hard time. The small publishers are just having fun. You can have a book made on the spot, have your portrait taken, interviews, talks, videos, a seminar or two. For aficionados, not to be missed.

 Hi Ginny, thanks much for getting a copy of your book, Inter DaDa all the way from California in '84 to us in Australia in 2017 (a Network event crosses both the Millenial and the Date Lines making history that just won't die). The image was made for us by Jim Anderson, famous for Oz magazines and the Oz magazine trials in London when London was the centre of the action. Hope to send a few bits and pieces from Jim's megaphone (better than Donald's) into the grinder of your publicity machine. Best to you. terry reid

U.S.P.S Postman Delivers Mail Santa Rosa Fires Drone Video By Douglas Th...

Friday, September 22, 2017

Femail XX Mail Art Show - Held in Vermont - Unsung Femail XX Artists and Scientists

Sinclair Scripa created this wonderful mail art show held September 2017 at Stone Valley Arts Center in Poultney, Vermont.  Chuck Welch reports, "It looked as if 400 artists from over 30 countries were in this show, quite possibly Vermont's largest mail art show in over a decade or more ."

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9th, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Forum: Sunday, September 10th, 2017,  3:00 – 5:00pm
Exhibit Dates: September 9 – October 1, 2017
Location: Stone Valley Arts at Fox Hill (145 E. Main Street, Poultney, VT 05764)

Why the theme? She wanted to create more awareness of the disparity between women and men artists' and scientists' opportunities. To quote in "Gender in The Art World, A Look At The Numbers"
  • $135 million: the gap between the highest priced artwork ever purchased at auction and the highest price ever purchased at auction for a female artist’s work
  • $51.3 million: the gap between the highest auction record for a living male artist to that of a living female artist
  • 1:  the number of women included in the top 10 living artists based on total value of secondary market sales (2011-2016)
  • 1: the number of Tier I female executive directors (out of 5) in the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District in the Denver metro area
  • 0: the number of women on the highest-selling individual lots for living artists (2011-2016)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Subversive World of ‘Cinderella Stamps’ by Emily Cleaver

These tiny artworks can’t be used for postage, but they do send a message.

Atlas Obscura July 13, 2017

Iles Des Sourds. 1964. Coquilles de mer, 1974, Donald Evans Courtesy Estate of Donald Evans and Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York 

The stamps issued in the tropical archipelago of Amis and Amants show a series of arcane islands in miniature watercolors. The sea sweeps the empty beaches of Outburst of Tenderness. Palm trees wave beneath stormy skies on the isle of First Love. From the shores of Fair Weather Friend a distant volcanic peak is visible on the horizon. On the island of Hand-in-Hand, mountains slope down to neatly ploughed fields.

These are Cinderella stamps; artifacts that look like stamps but aren’t. These islands of love and friendship don’t exist. They were painted by the American artist Donald Evans, who made thousands of stamps for 42 imaginary countries over a short, bright career, before his death in a house fire in 1977 at the age of 33.
Sabot. Poste Maritime., nd, Donald Evans.

Cinderella stamps can be anything from propaganda messages or charity labels to local stamps for obscure islands and tiny towns. You can’t send a letter through the official post with a Cinderella because they have no legal value, but that’s the attraction. It means anyone can make them, and the only restriction on what you can put on them is the stamp-maker’s imagination. Donald Evans was the king of the artistamp, a form of Cinderella made as an artistic work.

Artist Ginny Lloyd has been making artistamps under the pseudonym Gina Lotta since 1975. “An artistamp is a little museum,” she says. “You create an exhibit within a sheet of stamps. There’s complete freedom in what you want the content to be. They can have a political message, commemorate events from your life, whatever you want. I make sheets of stamps for people I know who’ve died. Some artists make them to distribute their work outside of the gallery system. Others mimic real stamps as a political commentary; some have had the Secret Service visit them for counterfeiting. Artistamps subvert in a quiet way. You have to look closely to see if they’re real or not.”

Gina Lotta Post Space Series. Courtesy Ginny Lloyd

As a kid Donald Evans built cities from cardboard, complete with houses and highways, churches and traffic. To make his imaginary worlds more real he wrote letters from them and made stamps to put on the envelopes. In the 1950s, between the ages of 10 and 15, he made hundreds of stamps, recording them in detail in his Catalogue of the World. He abandoned his hobby as a teenager, returning to it as an artist only once the cultural landscape had been transformed by Pop Art. (If it was okay to paint soup cans and comic strips, maybe it was okay to paint fake stamps.) Donald Evans dug out his childhood catalogues and began making stamps again.

Gnostis. 1949. Magical Symbols, 1972, Donald Evans.

He created countries to mark elements of his own life. Anything could be transformed into geography: a meal; a game of dominoes; a dance; a dinner party; a surname; a pair of shoes, a friendship, a love affair. His stamp issues minutely explored bird’s eggs, Chinese plates, Indonesian vegetables, alphabets, penguins, pasta, mushrooms, windmills, quilts, chairs and shells. To make his stamps look real he carved erasers to make postmarks and mounted his work on envelopes he distressed and addressed.

He kept the details of the lands he thought up deliberately and tantalizingly vague. He wanted viewers to step through these tiny doorways into worlds of their own imagination. These were vast territories, large enough to encompass all interpretations.

For other artistamp makers the form has been a way of making more political points. Unlike mass-produced official stamps, Cinderellas are hyper-local, often reflecting the personal preoccupations of the artist. Stamps traditionally commemorate the proud moments of a country, but Cinderellas can subvert that, marking the shameful or the perverse. 

Achterdijk. 1966. Pears of Achterdijk (Fondante de Charneu of Legipont),1972, Donald Evans

Artist Karl Schwesig drew faux stamps while imprisoned in 1940 at the Gurs concentration camp in southern France. He drew what he saw around him; the barbed wire, the guards; the bodies, the coffins heading for the burial ground. In the 1960s the Fluxus experimental art movement started using used stamps and mail art as a form of ‘living art’, a collaborative, anti-commercial medium that they sent out into the world instead of displaying in a gallery. Canadian conceptual artist Anna Banana, whose work satirises authority by parodying its symbols and concepts using the humble, humorous and nonsensical banana, produced a series of banana-themed stamps. Russian artist Natalie Lamanova has used stamps to explore issues of identity, ownership and control in 1990s post-Soviet Russia. American mail artist Otto David Sherman has been making stamps since the 1970s that highlight the disparity between the way nations represent themselves in official imagery and the actual actions of their rulers, depicting corrupt politicians and despots and showing first-world leaders in farcical poses; Vladimir Putin in a top hat, Donald Trump juxtaposed with a chimpanzee.

The artistamp community today is a DIY culture of makers swapping stamps through the post, mixing up drawing with image-editing software, color printing with pinking shears, internet forums with the traditional mail network. For a new generation it’s retaliation against the global with the super-local, against the mass-produced with the slow-made.   

Adjudane. 1922. Pictorals, 1972, Donald Evans.

Mail art creator Vittore Baroni has said that “Artistamps rebel against the monopoly of governmental emissions, claiming the right for everyone to self-produce and issue virtual values in any possible shape, number and subject.”

The countries Donald Evans created were peaceful, their politics idealized. The Island of the Deaf is a silent paradise with a capital called Hand-Talk. The country of Stein with its capital Gertrude is a literary dictatorship with 100 percent literacy. The imperial kingdom of Caluda emerges from a native takeover as the new independent state of Katibo, the Sudanese dialect word for a black man who sets himself free. He told the Paris Review in 1975 that his stamps were a “vicarious traveling for me to a made-up world that I like better than the one I’m in. No catastrophes occur. There are no generals or battles or warplanes on my stamps. The countries are innocent, peaceful, composed.”

Gina Lotta Post Future Series. Courtesy Ginny Lloyd

Ginny Lloyd sees in the artistamp an echo of a childhood fascination with unknown worlds. “The excitement I feel when I receive artistamps in the post is the same excitement I used to feel as a child when I would get packages of loose stamps for my collection. I would spend hours looking at all of these beautiful places outside of my very small town, dreaming about travel. I wanted to know more about other worlds and this was one of the ways I learned.”

The art of Donald Evans was subject to a raft of self-imposed restrictions. He only painted stamps, always in the same sizes with frequently recurring themes, in washed out colors painted with the same brush. He used this sameness, this deliberate smallness, to explore the infinite. His stamps are pieces of physical evidence sent directly from the limitless landscape of the imagination. 

For more information about artistamps and a gallery of work by many artists regularly updated see Books on the topic are also available.