About this mail art blog

This mail art blog re-circulates Ray Johnson's Follow Instructions Below. Originally published in the November 1971 issue of Arts Magazine, it was a "mailing event" cleverly devised by the artist in which recipients are asked to alter or add to a photocopy of Rimbaud.

January 20, 2010

From: God (aka Emily G.)

I knew from the get-go that this project would be something special. But I really had no clue that it would the attract likes of God. Yes, that's right, God has participated in this mailing event. I even have proof. When I received this in the mail, the sender's name was written in bold red marker as "God."

It opened to quite a work with a lovely note attached to the back of it. It read, "Dear Anna, Though Rimbaud is fantastic, I thought you might like a completely new icon. Fondly, Ms. Emily G." So, it turns out that God also goes by the name of Emily G.

What I love most about this one is that she has indeed been successful in her claims -- that is, to create and contribute a "completely new icon." She began by snipping Rimbaud into strips of paper and then stitched them together with black thread to make a new canvas. After vigorously marking the image with pencil and red and orange marker, she put on the finishing touch: a color photograph of herself, cigarette in hand with a toy cowboy protruding from her pants and a wicked grin.

In the end, God/Emily G. has completely obliterated the image of Rimbaud and put forth her own icon. The irreverence of this piece would make Ray Johnson proud. I certainly am!

(Oh, and to see more fantastic artwork by Emily G., look here!)

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