The Richard Canard Ebay Auction Controversy

Someone is trying to auction a collection of Richard Canard postcards on Ebay:

As a practitioner of Investigative Mail Art, I report network Happenings that I think are of relevance to the Whole (or Hole). So I am sharing the Ebay link someone posted on IUOMA-FB. I don't know the back story.

Our Darest Richard being hawked on Ebay is creating some controversy among other mail artists. "Mail art and money do not mix" has been a network slogan for decades. Some feel Richard C is an artist equal to Ray Johnson and should not be degraded in an Ebay auction.

Others do not believe mail art should be re-sold, ever.

Thought for food.

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Comment by Jayne Barket Lyons on September 28, 2019 at 3:15pm

Oh, goody - a certificate AND a surprise gift! I hope it gets mailed out soon. I’m sending all my m-a achievements and collections to the library at UWHN (University of What’s Happening Now, founded by Flip Wilson....errr, or was it Geraldine Jones?). 

Ha! Soylent Green! ;)

Comment by Mary Anne on September 28, 2019 at 5:29am

I can feel another one of my blogs coming on . . . 

Comment by De Villo Sloan on September 28, 2019 at 3:58am

Goodbye to Jayne is getting a Super Sleuth Investigative Mail Art Certificate from MinXus-Lynxus (and surprise gift)!

Where were you, Jayne, when we were investigating the reports - found here at IUOMA - that David Zack faked his death?

Anyway, I do not feel compelled to make ethical pronouncements about David Be Soylent Green Burger.

If I spent 20+ years putting out a zine, I guess I'd want to pass on the records & perhaps make a few bucks as the guy probably put more labor into Duplex Planet than he could ever be compensated if it were a job and not a labor of love.

Now if Jayne sends me mail art and I turn around and try to sell it on Ebay, that - I think - involves ethical concerns and mail art culture.

Comment by Jayne Barket Lyons on September 28, 2019 at 2:46am

Howdy all! I reviewed the auction when Jon Foster shared it on IUOMA FB this morning. I too, got the sense that the seller is, in fact, David B. Greenberger. From the sampling I took, every mail art piece is from DBG's own collection. 

If you go to one of the ebay listings, it states that:

Item location:

Greenwich, New York, United States
DBG's website states that he currently lives in upstate NY. His FB Profile has him living in Greenwich, NY.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on September 28, 2019 at 2:31am

res, when I used the word "controversial" in the blog it was because I thought some of the Facebook comments about Richard's m-a being sold on Ebay was negative.

Further, I believe Richard and Rain Rien (among others) were controversial on Ebay for selling fake Ray Johnsons. That is yet another tale.

And I do think selling mail art you have received from someone else is questionable.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on September 28, 2019 at 12:58am

oh! via Jennifer Wallace I see 50 issues of Duplex Planet are being auctioned. So the theory about the editor or someone close has traction.

(Some good m-a stuff on Ebay. Wonder if there will be a market (beyond RayJo & Flux folks)

Comment by De Villo Sloan on September 28, 2019 at 12:51am

We have some very good Investigative Mail Art sleuths here at IUOMA! (See Ed Sanders' Investigative Poetry.)

I can add a few crumbs to the comments. I honestly don't know the story. I think Jon Foster shared the auction links.

1. Duplex Planet was one of the better-known 80s zines that used m-a for content along w/ "underground" stuff.

I didn't correspond w/ that editor, tho. But the holdings of a lot of these zines are going "on the market" as gifts to rare book collections to plain ol' yard sales and I suppose Ebay.

2. A few years ago Richard C emptied a storage shed filled w/ years & years & boxes & boxes of mail art. Jon Foster & Lucky Pierre were with him and documented the event.

I mention this because it's possible A LOT of Richard C art went into re-circulation recently and could account for the varying dates. But I don't know how it was dispersed.

This raises larger questions about how to manage personal archives and collections.

(If you want to daydream, look at the prices on Ray Johnson collages.)

Thx again

Comment by Mary Anne on September 27, 2019 at 10:26pm

Some nice things amongst the offerings and quite a few have attracted bids.  If it wasn't for the huge postage costs I might even be tempted myself . . .

Comment by Jennifer Wallace on September 27, 2019 at 9:57pm

In the details, it says the mail was sent to David B Greenberger (Duplex Planet), so he must at some point have decided he didn't want to keep the cards? But it's a strange selection - one from 1980, one from 1999, three from 2016 (one by Ray Johnson) and three from 2017. It's asking for bids from US $59.98, but there have been no bidders so far.

The same seller is offering all sorts of other mail art and mainstream postcards:



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