3 X Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Richard - 10.16.2015 - 1

Mail art by IUOMA member Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

October 16, 2015 - My collection of work by Richard C (aka “the hardest working man in mail art”) is growing by leaps and bounds with the arrival of many exciting new pieces, which I fully intend to document even if a time lag is involved. Have patience Richard C fans! All will be revealed. The opening of the legendary storage shed is a new factor having an impact on the Richard C vortex.

I consider the postcard-size work above classic Richard Canard Trashpo: An altered, found plastic card with a heavy Popart allusion. The result of the erasure, “hare a C,” (from “Share a Coke”) works on a number of levels. I see a Ray Johnson bunny reference in “hare.” A reference to Richard’s name can be found in “C.” The central wordplay, I think, is the creation of “heresy.” The core of the message, then, is ironic. Here is the reverse side:

Richard - 10.16.2015 - 2

The Prints of Pop sent the work in this envelope:

Richard - 10.17.2015 - 3

Richard - 10.15.2015 - 4

Here is another piece that is also classically Richard Canard:

Richard - 10.15.2015 - 5

The reverse:

Richard - 10.15.2015 - 6

I will close with a third work by Richard Canard that also reveals why he was embraced early on by the Trashpoets and why his work has served as an inspiration for them:

Richard - 10.16.2015 - 7

The reverse is definitely Trashpo with all the trappings including a postage due notice, although I do not remember having to spring for the release of this work:

Richard - 10.16.2015 - 8

Deepest thanks to Richard Canard!

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Comment by Angelica Paez on October 16, 2015 at 5:51pm

Hi De Villo, I saw heresy right away, but not surprised if there are more interpretations.  I really don't know much about trashpo, if anything really.  Good art is good art.  Like a Coke, Richard is the Real Thing.

Comment by on October 16, 2015 at 5:30pm

Brilliant!

Comment by De Villo Sloan on October 16, 2015 at 5:25pm

Hi Angelica, I think the wordplay in the Coke piece is especially good too. It's "heresy," right? Am I missing something? Maybe "hare" is meant to refer to "hair" because both Ray Johnson and Richard are both preoccupied with hair.

It's funny because yesterday we were having this arcane discussion on FB, initiated by Mark Bloch no less, about Trashpo being "contrived" if alterations were made in the found material. Then here we have this piece by Richard that I see as being Trashpo, and it uses erasure. I don't see that the erasure makes the piece seem contrived, fake or manipulated at all. The piece would not be much without the erasure.

Now maybe Richard objects to his work being called Trashpo, as he was doing things like this long before anyone ever dreamed of Trashpo.

But doing the blog was relevant to me today because I wanted to have a response to the "contrived Trashpo" discussion, and Richard provided it.

Comment by Angelica Paez on October 16, 2015 at 4:13pm
Genius wordplay on that Coke piece.

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