New Mona Lisa’s and other Mail in

From David Stafford – The MOST wonderful calendar made with – amongst other things, a few DeskTop Images:

Pedogical???????  Sounds a little like chocolate cake with cabbage icing?

My FAVORITE Spread – read it, you’ll see why 🙂 – and of COURSE it belongs to David!

And whilst we’re on the subject of time – this is the cover Marie Wintzer sent me for a new book I am making in which to store all the art she sends me. Its beautiful craftsmanship :-), based on the year she had stitched previously

From TICTAC (Germany) for the Mona Lisa call – I have also received STAINS – a collaborative book we did together – but I will blog that separately – to BEAUTIFUL FOR WORDS!! Dolly Lisa 🙂

More wonderful stamps – Stamp Booklet 18/35

From Laura P (USA) Mona Valentine (with a bite out!)

David Stafford’s – NO Mona Lisa’s inside…

From Guido Vermeulen (Belgium) – a beautiful chapbook – written by David Stone (Phrygian Press) and illustrated by Guido himself

The envelope Guido sent – a painting titled – The Time Sheet.

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The Alexandrian Library Boekie Collection

Rob Grant (Australia) (Also the long-term Mayor of Inkovia) sends me the most amazing mail art.  Its mail art at its giving best.  This is the boekie he has sent to the growing library – its BEAUTIFULLY made, filled with the most wonderful asemic-type images – its a weighty boekie for sure – Rob – THANK YOU!!!!

If you would like to send me a boekie – REWARD – I will send you one back 🙂 – the theme is Music for the first round I  think  – only stipulations – AROUND A6 size…, hard/heavy duty cover and bound in some way –  that’s it :=).  And today, while I was cleaning my painting studio – yes I know – no mean feat!!! I took the following photo’s of 4 of my  oil painting  palettes – they reminded me of DeskTops 🙂 X

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Some Mail – sorry its not all – time is being a hard master :-(

For the Mona Lisa Call – I am getting some fantastic responses as you can see from the postings below – keep them coming please 🙂 – whoever could have thought that an image, now about 500 years old, can still generate so many interpretations? I think there has to be a book made of all these somewhere along the line.  Anyone know any interested publishers??? Anyone heard of a shouting envelope? If you made this stamp  Vizma I am VERY (capital letters) impressed – its da Vinci’s  head of a man shouting as part of his studies for The Battle of Angina ac 1503.  As a matter of interest, these were to da Vinci the perfect visualization of what he called pazzia bestialissima (most beastly madness).

From Vizma Bruns (Australia)

Vizma caught the master at work – I always WONDERED what he did in his free time.  The small print reads – Dear Cheryl, Something in the mail fro you tomorrow, Leo. Ok – how sharp was that?

And this??? – Yip, A Bona Mona :-)))!

From Liketelevisionsnow (USA). – This envelope arrived in the mail first – warning me of good things to come 🙂 – The Mona Lisa Remix.

I had asked participants to state their view on the authenticity and originality of an artwork. LTS decided he would rather tackle View your State. State of Being? State of Play? State of ???

I think Liketelevisionsnow’s Mona lies in State, a bit cut up?

And in other news,

A new Correspond net Dean Marks (Artist in-Seine) France has also been sending me MANY cut up things. I think it has to do with too much time spent inter-planetary. Houston to Dean – did you manage to control the Red?

Its the test patterns you see. No – you will have to ask Dean for more info about this.  Its a remarkable piece of cut-up anyway. He wont say, but he has elves working for him. And I don’t think he is giving them a pension.

On that note, I think I am cutting up and sending out one of my painting rags. I quite like it.

AND the chart so far of FLUXUS words in my possession from Ruud Janssen (Netherlands)

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Mail IN and mail OUT

From Alicia Starr (USA) – another superb Mona Lisa for my Mail Art Call –  titled  Enigma

And another

From Emmy Verschoor (Netherlands) – Lonely Lisa

From Marie Wintzer (Japan) – this was supposed to be a sculptural piece – BUT you know what mail art does – its own thing!  Marie knows my love of language – and this is called a Language Labyrinth – made more pertinent by its unwillingness to be opened!!

GOING – Genki People – Dream 5 I think 🙂

It will be accompanied my Dreaming on Planes

And Dream 6 – Life after Potholes 

Which will be accompanied by – No entry

And my next batch of original Mona Lisa in Flux are out – sent to participants of the call

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Did you ever wonder where all the Current Mona Lisa’s would go?


PART I     What can we agree is “the Mona Lisa”?                                                                                                                                           It is an image: poplar bedaubed with pigmented oils; unseen by the public for 300 years, seen by relatively few for the next 150 years, seen since 1962 by mob scene .  It is a concept: an assessment of reality supported by interpretation of the image.  It is an icon: a world-wide conceptualization of high culture famous-for-being-famous.

I propose that the Mona Lisa is the figment of a collective imagination roiled by a quantum wave machine. Within the quantum wave many possible Monas exist. Without only one. Which one is determined by how the imaginative parameters have been set. Giorgio Vasari set them first, in 1550, with his Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori, but how many people could read back then?  Edgar Quinet and Jules Michelet constructed a weir across the stream of collective consciousness to seine data points from the quantum wave to pre-fabricate a polemical Mona Lisa suitable for mid 19th century European geopolitics.  Fin de siecle, Pater and Wilde, with experienced arrogance and purple prose, shaped that effulgent vulgarity into the Mona Lisa by describing their personal ruminations on the Mona Lisa concept rather than the Mona Lisa image. In doing so, they made the Mona Lisa image emotionally accessible to the masses and relevant to their times, i.e. they rendered actual art conceptual.

“She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire” . . . indeed.

In 1962, both the image and the concept of the Mona Lisa were taken to New York City to fulfill the promise extracted from Charles de Gaulle by Jacqueline Kennedy while on a state visit to Paris with her husband. When more than a million people waited hours for a seconds-long four-abreast walk past, apotheosis into celebrity icon happened. As if an emerging palimpsest, “to be able say you have seen the Mona Lisa” appeared on lists of things to do before you died. (I remember seeing Michelangelo’s Pieta for similar reasons and under similar conditions at the Vatican pavilion of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Bathed in lurid blue light, it appeared green and conveyed “mould”.) . Billions of people who have never heard of Leonardo and will never go to Paris are familiar with the Mona Lisa. And so are all of us — despite Duchamp’s best efforts.

The recently late Robert Hughes maintained celebrity status as a universal icon deprives the Mona Lisa of meaningfulness. Art, in his opinion, convey a coherent feeling revealing viewers to different views. That requires subtlety in both domain and range. Pricelessness is the Mona Lisa’s current domain – transcendence is its range. Subtlety is not involved. The universal is the reciprocal of the subtle. To achieve universality, the gold foil of individual meaningfulness is beaten ever thinner until significant in the aggregate but not the particulate.


Is Duchamp’s Mona Lisa, parody, prophesy, pique, or passé?   The price of perfection is parody. The Mona Lisa is the most parodied image in the world and as such rivals porn’s internet ubiquity. Also like porn, it runs the gamut from show your mother to gouge your eyes out. Each of these many is intentional if not effectual. Those that are both are bounty; their aesthetic concepts wait to be picked up by a complementary receptor. All pieces submitted to Cheryl Penn’s Mona Lisa Call fall into this category. Each artist altered “the Mona Lisa” to particularize its relevance to themselves. Their hope is that viewers will meaningfully experience relevance through their altered images.

Nine of the cards submitted to the Mona Lisa Call found a willing receptor in me. Something in the aesthetic of each gave me a context in which to maunder. Over here I saw Betty-Boop, and ­­­­­­­­­­­­­over there I saw where supermodels get their mojo, and it all made sense because I provided the relevance. Every viewer can do this to some degree with some image.  That is the point. Art activates the viewer who in turn infuses art: all on a moving cakewalk of endorphins. And each time this happens a nanos-thin piece of meaningfulness falls to be gathered into ever larger aggregates.  My re-contextualizations of these nine others’ work [The Cards on the Rack] attempt to increase the amount of meaningfulness and concentrate its fall. Meaningfulness is non-fungible. We want our Meaningfulness but not to have to run all over the place sweeping it up.

Each scrap of foil contributes to the Mona Lisa Rehab fund.

RCBz has created this gallery – its NOT the Dulwich Mona Gallery – I have to come up with another name 🙂 – Its an Ether Gallery for sure – whoever would have thought? This call has produced such wonderful work and RCBz has created a home for it – I am CHUFFED!!!

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