Austin Will James is inspired by music and seems to have the music cranked when he's creating. He uses song titles often to name his own work. The piece I received is inspired by an entire Grateful Dead album: "AoxomoxoA." If I have it anywhere near right, this is a companion piece to the famed "Workingman's Dead," which many would say marked a creative zenith for that band - with Jerry, Pigpen, Bear, and others - many others would disagree, I'm sure. When I looked it up, what I found interesting is that "AoxomoxoA" and "Workingman's Dead" are a song cycle. I think that's interesting, when you start looking at individual pieces as something larger. So I thought I'd look at not just this but a few of Austin's mail-art pieces for a bigger picture. Yes, it's "Let's raid Austin's IUOMA portfolio" time: The following is "ChinaCatSunflower" (more Dead, yes?). Not unlike the piece I received, except you can see more clearly here one of his tendencies to use geometry. I always have liked "ChinaCatSunflower":
Next is "Sunshine Daydream." Austin really had me pegged with the more gothic tones, but he is often far more bright and sunny:
Thanks so much for your art and your friendship, Austin.