Received: Mail-Op-Art from Austin Wills James (Dallas, Texas, USA)

Mail-art by IUOMA member Austin Wills James (Dallas, Texas, USA)

November 23, 2010 - This is the second piece of mail-art to arrive from Austin Wills James. He has many new pieces posted at the IUOMA and seems to be moving into new territory with his work. This is a post-card size optical piece that works very well if you gaze at it for a while, although I'm not sure that the scan captures it. This mail-art has endured some rough handling by the postal service, but then that's a part of the process. This is the first art by Austin I've seen that uses - what else can it be called but? - optical illusion as its center. However, I am not surprised because much of his previous work incorporates a precise use of geometry. The turquoise and burnt orange add a retro look. And there's the cat that is definitely becoming his logo, if that hasn't been firmly established already. Address side:

The "May Cause Dizziness" sticker is a nice touch, as optical pieces like this are sometimes known to produce just that result. Austin James Wills sent me this in response to mail-art I sent him inspired by the Grateful Dead song "Scarlet Begonias" - it's my favorite and, as it turned out it's Austin's too, so maybe there is something to this music and mail-art idea that is discussed so frequently. Thanks, Austin. I know this is part of an ongoing dialog: I am greatly enjoying trading with you.

Word for the day: Red (TYCP)

Views: 41

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Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 23, 2010 at 9:14pm
Austin - thank heavens for the comment stream. When I was writing last night, I forgot to add a para. about what I noticed right away as being so important (especially in your work), the music reference in the art! And yeah, the visual is so pared down basic. We talk about Punk but we never mention New Wave. Only I'm thinking "Psycho-killer..," or "The sound of gunfire, off in the distance, I'm getting used to it now." Can't get past those MONUMENTAL classics.What song are you taking that from?
Comment by Austin Wills James on November 23, 2010 at 9:01pm
Delete Comment I'm glad you both liked this one, as the name would suggest, it was a Talking Heads kinda day. Given his penchant for transforming the mundane into the absurd, David Byrne himself might like this one. I love that cat stamp, although in this case he seems to be saying "Dude, you're kidding me, right?"
-AWJ-
Comment by cheryl penn on November 23, 2010 at 1:28pm
There certainly seems to be interesting developments in Austins work within the last few months. I am reminded of pages I have in a book called Digipop by Karim Rashid. Almost hper-saturated visuals.

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