Almost Vispo by Linda Faye French (Two Harbors, Minnesota, USA)

Linda - 1.6.2015 - 1

Mail art by IUOMA member Linda Faye French (Two Harbors, Minnesota, USA)

January 7, 2015 - Linda Faye French of Minnesota sent me some wonderful mail art. This piece, approximately 4 X 6 inches, is painted (or otherwise dabbed or drawn) meticulously upon very sturdy material. I think this work has a wonderful sense of movement and design, primarily involving repetition. This is an abstract work, certainly not the first I have seen in contemporary mail art, that borders on being vispo or asemics without making the full leap (which is completely okay I hasten to add).

In mail art, genres tend to overlap in interesting ways (in some instances it is called intermedia). This work by Linda Faye French is a fine example of the possibilities. Unfortunately, I have struggled a bit trying to decide whether the work is best viewed as horizontal or vertical. So here is another possibility:

Linda - 1.6.2015 - 3

The strings are a wonderful touch as well. I am not yet familiar enough with Linda Faye French’s style and personal visual syntax to offer an interpretation, other than registering that I like what she is doing very much. Here is the reverse side:

Linda - 1.6.2015 - 2

Mail art by Linda Faye French is a shining example of contemporary mail art. Observers have noted – John Held Jr. among them – that on the current scene (what I call Mail Art NouveauX) mail-art’s connection to conceptual art and the post-avant (via the Ray Johnson lineage) is diminishing and the genre is evolving into folk art.

This work by Linda Faye French, I believe, reveals the folk art aspect as well. This piece also mimics aspects of digital art that is also appearing more and more frequently in the network. Thus, a triumph of this art by Linda Faye French is its harmonious synthesis of several diverse modes. The envelope is very nice as well:

Linda - 1.6.2015 - 4

And the reverse:

Linda - 1.6.2015 - 5

Many thanks to Linda Faye French for this lovely mail art and apologies for the vertical/horizontal confusion. (She is not the first.) I look forward to exchanges in 2015.

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Comment by Linda French on January 15, 2015 at 6:22am

I had no idea so much was happening on this page! Just didn't get the gmail notice. 

#1) Most times when I do something abstract, I intend for it to be viewed in any direction. I want the viewers to position it in the way that feels "right" to them.

#2) On the back of the art, I like to have something interesting going on -- a little like placing a couch away from a wall,  with the back toward the door. It doesn't have to be much, but I'd rather not have it be all smudges and glue drips.

#3) Tammy Faye Bakker was probably a nice person, but it was my father who gave me the 'Faye' as a hat tip to an old girlfriend. At least that's what Mom always said. The embarrassing truth about the 'Faye' appearing on the IUOMA site is that when I filled in my info, there was a blank for my "full name" and I thought I should probably put it in for some vague internet reason. (I'm serious. I really did think that.) The only ones who have ever called me 'Linda Faye', besides IUOMA folks, is Mom and someone who loved me long ago. I usually just go by 'Linda' or even 'L' in correspondence. But here we are.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 7, 2015 at 9:12pm

The (Linda Faye) French Connection: You continue to sparkle on, Richard. Trust me on this one.

Richard's comment below about Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker is not to be missed, BTW. I think Linda Faye is late for her first IUOMA roast. Where could she be?

I wanted to add something else in this celebrity obsessed comment stream. Two Harbors, Minnesota looks to me like a fascinating and in one sense an "authentic" place in the American landscape. I think none other than Bob Dylan grew up in that area: Hibbing, near Duluth. Two Harbors appears to be close to Duluth.

Comment by Richard Canard on January 7, 2015 at 8:49pm

07.01.15 Dare De Villo S.,....ah, "Jim & Tammy Bakker"...fond memories..It was hard to beat Jim & Tammy Faye B. for entertainment back in my beloved Nawf Karolinah...not even Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs as background music during an afternoon at  the Nascar Speedway could compare.. Jim B. (by the way ) is still at it...alive & well...hawking doomsday & survivalist paraphernalia as a remedy for the very same Apococoalipstick end that we have all longed for since the beginning of time..... & I missed the Ms. French Connection (or was it just the name "Faye"). In her own way, she seems to have the same enthusiastic high energy level somewhat comparable to the" bright stars" of  DKULT ,  Jon Foster & or Moan Lisa....Oh, I do like to babble & pretend that I know what I'm talking about.  &  I also must confess, I do seem to depend on you DVS (more & more) in keeping me awake as to what is actually happening. Ave uh nez dae. Richard Canard

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 7, 2015 at 6:55pm

Does anyone remember Tammy Faye Bakker? Is there some connection to Linda Faye French? But seriously... wow, Linda is the Popular Girl and rightly so, as the m-a is spectacular, more than the scans can capture.

Amy and Mizael - thanks for the comments - I puzzled over this a long time and agree horizontal looks best. Amy, I run into this situation with Matt Stolte too. You know I admire his work, but I get stymied with the horizontal-vertical thing - a failing of mine, I'm sure. Maybe Linda Faye will grace us with the final word on this.

Huck FinnBadger - I'm with you on the excellence of both sides. Linda Faye wastes no space, which might even be a rule concerning good m-a, that is not to waste space.  And yes, she clearly has an "A Side" and a "B Side." Of course, B Sides can be mighty interesting when done well.

Again, thanks to all for such perceptive responses.

Comment by Amy Irwen on January 7, 2015 at 4:55pm

Horizontal yes! very cool and the envelope is crap nice!

Comment by FinnBadger on January 7, 2015 at 4:27pm

I love how Linda pays so much attention to both sides of her mail art (perhaps because I never do). One is always clearly the main show, however the other side is always an attention grabber as well.

Comment by Mizael Contreras on January 7, 2015 at 3:31pm
Beautiful work! I definitely like it more horizontally.

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