Elvis-Themed Ray Johnson Fake by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

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

January 24, 2015 - Many IUOMA friends are aware that Richard Canard’s fake Ray Johnson collages are a part of mail-art history, rooted especially in the years following Ray Johnson’s death (January 13, 1995).

These Johnson fakes are a wonderful homage. They are packed with allusions and wit. They have also been controversial, generating ire and accusation. In 2013, MinXus-Lynxus conducted one of its renowned investigations into the matter of the Canard/Johnson fakes. We filed this report that might be of some interest to those who do not know the background:


Very likely as a remembrance of Ray Johnson’s demise 20 years ago this month, Richard Canard sent me an absolutely stunning fake to add to my collection. Twenty years is indeed a landmark, and Johnson is more “famous” today than he was at the time of his passing. Despite grim predictions, the mail-art network is thriving in the digital age.

The collage was carefully protected:

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Now for the main attraction. The Johnsonian iconography is particularly rich in this piece:

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I consider this a treasure as it features both Elvis and the Lucky Strike logo. And I consider all aspects of a Richard Canard mailing part of the art:

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And the usual suspect:

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Deepest thanks to Richard Canard for sending this spectacular fake! This is one of my faves – ever!

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