The Postman’s Choice (1965)

photo by Derek Pell

Most of the art I own is stored in San Rafael, but on this trip I brought with me Ben Vautier’s absurdist contribution to Mail Art, The Postman’s Choice—an identical, double-sided postcard intended for two recipients. It was this work that inspired me to toss my beret into the ring and participate in this international  movement grounded in correspondence between artists. At its edges, Mail Art manipulated, toyed with, disrupted and tormented the organized system of human communication. Ah, the poor Postal Service (pun intended).

Today, only a handful of artists continue to design their own postage stamps. Electronic mail has  erased a significant form of artistic expression. Today’s equivalent to Ben’s great work would likely be a virus deployed to bring down the system, so we’d all be forced to rely again on snail mail.

Renaissance, anyone?

I display this artwork in my office while awaiting  new inspiration.