Mail art by IUOMA member liketelevisionsnow (Tamworth, New Hampshire, USA)

January 25, 2016 - Yesterday many mail artists were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of liketelevisionsnow aka Max Shellman. His wife Sharon Sapar Malenfant issued a statement on the Max Shellman Facebook page:

"Sharing the sad news of my husband Jeff's passing on Thursday evening, Jan. 21 after a 15 year battle with progressive muscular atrophy, a rare motor neuron disease.

"We shared a 35-year journey of love, growth and discovery that gave us the strength to carry on. Jeff was a photographer, artist and part of a huge online arts community. He loved to use other personas in his artwork and was known as Max Shellman and liketelevisionsnow to many whose work he supported and encouraged. There has been so much love and kindness expressed from his fellow artists around the world, and I am deeply appreciative. I'm also grateful for family and friends who have reached out and wrapped their loving arms around me at this time, as well as their support in recent years.

"Jeff's wishes were to be cremated and, in the spring, we will journey back to his hometown of Wakefield, Rhode Island for a celebration of his life and lay him to rest in Riverside Cemetery beside the Saugutucket River."

Sharon also wrote in another statement:

"Jeff loved all of you and the friendships he was able to have with you online. You shared his artist heart, his humor, his sense of life, and it made him a happier person. One of his greatest joys was supporting, nourishing and encouraging the creative work of others, which in turn inspired him.

"He never told any of you that he had a rare degenerative motor neuron disease called Progressive Muscular Atrophy. He was diagnosed about 15 years ago and slowly began to lose the use of his arms, and then his legs. I quit my job 5 years ago to stay home as he became bedbound, unable to walk or sit up unaided. He didn't want any of his artist friends online to know. It was irrelevant to him and not worth wasting time discussing. He was more interested in creating his art, encouraging others, publishing books and magazines, and coming up with new ideas for projects."

liketelevisionsnow was a wonderful friend online and in the mail for the last five years. His work will live on in the Eternal Network.

Here is another piece by liketelevisionsnow:

Views: 2413

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Comment by Mim Golub Scalin on January 25, 2016 at 9:49pm

Comment by Carlos I. Botana on January 25, 2016 at 9:30pm

Comment by Jan-Willem Doornenbal on January 25, 2016 at 9:25pm

Rest in Art. Strange to realise what a man there is behind the work. Thanks for telling about his life.

Comment by Toni Hanner -- tonipoet on January 25, 2016 at 9:05pm
I love that "his disease was irrelevant to him and not worth discussing." He must have been a hell of a man.
Comment by Rebecca Guyver on January 25, 2016 at 8:51pm

Thanks for the blog. So sad to hea, but how lucky we are to be part of the community.

Comment by Claudio Romeo on January 25, 2016 at 8:40pm

Ciao liketelevisionsnow...
Comment by Austin Wills James on January 25, 2016 at 8:20pm

"Sometimes not even music can substitute for tears." - Paul Simon

Comment by David Stafford on January 25, 2016 at 8:19pm

Yes, I second that perception, PP. I always had the feeling I was dealing with a diehard 30 year old artist who was ready to head to the barricades to get it out there.

Comment by Petrolpetal on January 25, 2016 at 8:11pm
I feel deeply saddened - but also inspired. He was such an edgy, vibrant, exciting personality. In my mind he was a 25 -ish rebel in a leather jacket. no idea why. except it must have been his artistic energy. Just goes to prove ... the only limits are those in your mind! Sincere condolences to his wife.
Comment by David Stafford on January 25, 2016 at 8:11pm

Thank you, DVS for posting this here. Like so many of the respondents I was also touched by Jeff's generosity of spirit. He published one of my pieces in his magazine and never failed to encourage me on Facebook. I am genuinely sad that I didn't have time to know him better. So strange that we can feel that we know strangers through small nods and acknowledgments but with Jeff I think you really could discern the contours of his spirit through such small but significant efforts. He seemed to always be saying "yes." Given his circumstances, no small feat.

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