World Champs Boxing Match: Diane Keys & Richard Canard (Illinois, USA)

DK - 2.1.2016 - 1

Mail art by IUOMA member Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

February 1, 2016 - Mailing altered boxes – especially cereal boxes – has become (excuse the pun) a staple of Trashpo. While competition is usually discouraged in mail art, I want to compare and contrast in this blog work by two champion boxers: Diane Keys and Richard Canard. The pieces by Diane Keys are panels from an entire cereal box she mailed me.

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The emphasis on textual elements is an important characteristic of classic Trashpo. We have the obligatory nod to KDJ and the added bonus of an iconic DKult stamp:

DK - 2.1.2016 - 3

How does cerealism by the Queen of Trash compare with the work of mail art master Richard Canard?

Richard - 2.1.2016 - 1

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

Richard Canard often uses unaltered product boxes as a kind of readymade post-pop, although sometimes he will play with the text too with erasure. In this case, the image functions as a visually interesting B-side for an asemic composition of great interest:

Richard - 2.1.2016 - 2

John M. Bennett also frequently works with commercial packaging cardboard and praises the material. Diane Keys and Richard Canard use similar materials in very different ways. Could we ever find consensus that one of them is the better boxer? I think we all will agree they are among the greats of contemporary cerealism.

Many thanks to Diane and Richard!

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Comment by DKULT on February 3, 2016 at 11:43pm

Glad I stumbled onto this blog post!  too funny. I always used cereal boxes for my postcard backing and never as the art itself like RC. I also moved towards making entire envelopes out of boxes, but that is quite difficult. My favorite envelopes to make are from Saltine Boxes. ?not sure why. RC almost exclusively sent me raw packaging postcards in the beginning and I felt an odd sense of comfort knowing intimately what he ate--it was a window into his life and I encouraged him to eat less microwaveable foods:)  RC has a very broad range of mediums that he used because I have always been surprised by him such as when he sent me an amazing RayJo Fake. I almost couldn't see the connection between that and the whimsical 'deep thoughts' cards he often sends. Just sent RC a found object out today. RC is and always will be the greatest cerealistic mail artist, although technically I don't think he has ever used a cereal box. He is the first that I saw made the box into the art. The other offshoot of this was Claudia. She used the packaging or newspaper/ad pages, but added a subtle layer of paint over it, while still incorporating the original by letting it peek through

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