Saturday, October 16, 2004

Roy Arenella in Love

Finally catching up with my mail, I arrive at the one card I received today: "Rest Your Heart" by Roy Arenella.

Roy is one of the observant of mailartists in my coterie, and a man who is always responding to me in beautiful and surprising ways. A few days ago, I wrote a small blog entry arguing that Robert Indiana's "LOVE" is the most famous visual poem of all times.

The next day, Roy mailed me this photocard, which is from his "Continuing Signs" series. On the reverse of the card, he writes, "This one for "gE(•)F."

Roy Arenella, "Rest Your Heart" (31 Jul 2004)

This photo gracing the front of the card is a delicate collection of greys. Roy is a real photographer, and he takes stunning pictures of the most simple tableaux: in this case, a spray-painted and stenciled message ("REST YOUR HEART") on the girder of a railway trestle in Montpelier, Vermont. Roy's photocards are actual original photographs that he prints himself, and they are usually (as in this case) bordered in a graceful black.

The message of this photograph refers back to my essayette without ever mentioning it. If I wondered for a second about, if I ever questioned, Roy's motives, then the beautiful blue stamping (which rests within his pseudo-cancellation on the reverse of the card) would definitely convince me. Roy has created a semiotic poem that echoes Indiana's "LOVE." Various perpendicular lines represent, though just barely, the L and the E of the poem. But, most wonderfully of all, a slightly askew heart (♥) rests within this armature and serves (appropriately) the role of both the O and the V.

Roy Arenella, [Heartshaped LOVE] (13 Oct 2004)

Strangely, Roy didn't use a "LOVE" postage stamp to maximaphilatelize this card, probably because he didn't have one handy. Instead, we have a 20-cent stamp commemorating two centuries of US-Netherlandish relations and a 3-cent stamp remembering the 150th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. This card is numbered 433P/C (a photocard, and the 433rd mailing of the year).

The quietest mailing of all hits me, again, the hardest.

un violon d'ingres


michael said...

Nice photo. has a kind of timeless quality to it.

Geof Huth said...


Yes, that's the beauty of Roy's photographs. And the originals are much better than my scans!