It’s been a great summer so far, if you’re looking to beef up your bookshelves with items related to mail art. Two of my all time favorite postal correspondents have recently published beautiful gems, and I’m here to share them with you.
Mud Bath by Allan Bealy, published by Black Scat Books
First up is Allan Bealy, a collage artist based in Brooklyn, NY. I first met Allan via the mails, when he sent an amazing sheet of artistamps my way: they were brightly colored, digitally printed, and practically leaping out of my PO box. From the get-go, I knew that Allan and I would get along splendidly, postally speaking.
Mud Bath (published by Black Scat Books) perfectly captures the humor and “wow!” factor of seeing Allan’s work in person. Weighing in at just under 70 pages (68 to be exact) this is a lovely, full color addition to your bookshelf, especially if you are interested in contemporary collage artists.
Allan’s artist statement for Kolaj magazine states that he is “most interested in discovering new ways to tell an old story, with humor, irony and a dash of anarchy!” Looking through the variety of work in Mud Bath his personal credo shines through, leaving this reader inspired and awed.
Philatelic Atrocities by Niko Courtelis, published by Kat Ran Press
Niko Courtelis is atrocious and he does unmentionable things to postage stamps. With a rallying cry of “Forgive Me For What I’ve Done“, he takes vintage stamps — mainly heads and faces — and creates something entirely other. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing his work in person, you know what I mean.
When Niko told me that Kat Ran Press would be publishing a selection of his work as part of their Essays in Philatelics series, I was incredibly excited, both for him and postal freaks everywhere! Kat Ran is a small press publisher with a focus of typography, philatelics, and graphic design. You can view their current titles here.
In a nutshell (and via Kat Ran Press): “Philatelic Atrocities contains seventeen full-color details and reproductions of Niko Courtelis’s stamp collages. A brief introduction by Courtelis explains why it’s OK to chop up stamps.” Perfection.
It’s no secret: I’ve been a longtime fan of Niko’s work. His typewriter/typewritten artistamp sheets and collaged atrocities are sophisticated and inventive, incorporating both philatelic history and a keen sense of design. Atrocities is a volume that has become an important part of my artistamp library; additionally, it makes a great gift for postally passionate friends.
And here’s a bonus for all of you RLD readers in Portland, Oregon: on July 10th, Reading Frenzy will host an opening reception for “Cut Here: Niko Courtelis, Eroyn Franklin, and Mark Searcy”. This collage and cut paper show will be on display at RF through the month of July; now’s your chance to see Niko’s work in person! I bet if you ask nicely, he’ll sign a copy of Atrocities for you…
And with that, I’m back to my summer reading list! Be sure and let me (and your fellow RLD readers) know what you think of these two postal-ish publications; if you make it to the opening at Reading Frenzy, I’d love to hear about that too!
In all things postal, I remain —