as defined by WiseGeek.comMail art is artwork created specifically to travel by regular postal mail service, with the artwork often placed on either a postcard or envelope, but the medium can also include a package. A related type of contemporary art, called artistamps, is the practice of designing art in the size and shape of a postage stamp, not to replace the real stamp but to decorate an envelope alongside the real stamp. Artists who participate in mail art can create their pieces by painting, drawing, rubberstamping or printmaking. They can make a collage or employ other methods to create their artwork.
There are two different beliefs concerning when mail art was created. One camp believes the art form began with artist Marcel Duchamp, who sent off a batch of his personally created postcards in 1916.
The other camp says art mail was first conceived by another artist, Ray Johnson, in the 1950s, when he mailed his artwork, including collages. Following Ray Johnson’s mailing, an informal group of artists formed to do the same with their artworks, sending them through the mail, and they were called the New York Correspondence School of Art.
About two decades after Ray Johnson’s first mail art was delivered by the postal service, the art form gained popularity following a Whitney Museum of American Art exhibit. Showings and mailings of mail art grew in numbers, and magazines began to write about it, further spreading the word.
If you want to send me your mailing address (firstname.lastname@example.org) you may get one of these (or something else) in the mail!
Sharpies and markers
crayon and markers
homemade foam stamps on painted watercolor paper
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