Legends of Trashpo: Alicia Starr Ryan (Sky Valley, California, USA)

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Mail art by IUOMA member Alicia Starr Ryan (Sky Valley, California, USA/Iowa City, Iowa, USA)

April 11, 2016 - When a comprehensive history of Trashpo is at last written, Alicia Starr Ryan will doubtless have a substantial place in an early chapter. That chapter might be titled “Trashpo: The Hungry Years.”

Although she did not choose it, Alicia Starr Ryan’s fate was to enter mail art when Trashpo and DKult were in ascension and alluring. It was “an offer she could not refuse,” as the story goes. Her service has been above and beyond the call of duty. So if Alicia Starr Ryan is enjoying a vacation and respite from the toils of art, who can criticize her?

I was thrilled to receive this classic Trashpo piece from her, apparently issued from a location “on the road,” as someone called it. Alice Starr Ryan’s home base is Iowa City, Iowa (DKULTIA). For the conspiracy theorists who note that Moan Lisa also sometimes uses an Iowa City address: There is no connection between Alicia and Moan Lisa. They both inhabit a similar geographic area, entirely a coincidence. I don’t believe they have ever met.

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Those professing an interest in understanding “authentic Trashpo” would do well to note the nuances of this Alicia Starr Ryan composition. Essentially, it is a card enclosed in a somewhat abused plastic sandwich bag. The obsessive plasticizing of everything by Rebecca Guyver (UK) comes to mind.

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This looks like a collage, but the pieces are actually free-floating. Bits of trash and collage scraps are a Trashpo staple (no pun intended). This surface of the work (below) is my favorite and, I believe, best captures the aesthetic Alicia Starr Ryan has brought to Trashpo:

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A broader view of the bag w/frags:

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Wonderful to receive mail from Alicia Starr Ryan!

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Comment by De Villo Sloan on April 12, 2016 at 2:41pm

Thank you, Martha.

Should that book ever be written, it will have a chapter called "The Trashpo of Great Britain." Actually, that could be an entire book. Here is another piece by Alicia Starr Ryan that, I believe, first appeared at IUOMA some time ago:

Comment by Mail Art Martha on April 12, 2016 at 6:10am

Great trashpo and what a superb crit from De Villo Sloane. I look forward to that book on the history of Trashpo by DVS

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