Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Mailart Christmas

Roy Arenella must have known that I was sending him a card this Christmas, because he foreshadowed my card with a card of his own. (I think his card arrived in the afternoon of the very day I mailed my card out to him in the morning.)

This is a great Arenella photograph. He's printed the photo with a little black around the edge of it, which intensifies the ranges of greys within. Nothing else is quite black, and very little is white. A rich variety of greys gives us this scene: a neck craned upwards to capture the figure of a woman holding a radiant dove and a clock. And it's remarkable that this is entrance to the post office in Forest Hills, New York. If you look closely, you can see delicate striations moving diagonally and downward across this photo: a pelting rain or a snowfall.

Roy Arenella, "Peace & Good Holidays" (17 Dec 2004)

Ruud Janssen claims this isn't a piece of mailart, which I find an interesting comment that says something about our expectations for art: how we expect art to be separate from our personal life. Me, I like my art mixed up with my personal life so that I can't tell one from the other, and that's one reason I enjoy Roy's work so much.

This card is decorated with a 20-cent Netherlands stamp (coincidentally where Ruud is from) and a contemporary 3-cent star stamp pasted down at an angle to mirror the falling star rubberstamping (carved by Roy?) that occupies the pseudo-cancellation stamp. I'm very happy to report that Roy (or the Fates themselves) saw fit to send me this particular card: number 500 p/c.

un violon d'ingres

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