Monday, April 17, 2017

Naked mail art

When it comes to mail art, naked usually means that the item in question is sent without a cover or envelope. This means that the piece travels through the mail stream with no protection, so it is always possible that something is added (usually postmarks, but sometimes other markings, dings etc) or even subtracted (bits going missing).

Dean, aka The Artist in Seine, always sends his work naked. And he is very creative about it, too. He also always makes sure the back and front are equally interesting (something I'm pretty bad at).

Here's some banana mail from him




And another piece (with a tiny banana) that has a piece of a computer attached to it!





And yet another one from Mr In Seine himself, featuring geocaching!





Although most of my mail art is sent in a handmade envelope, I sometimes send naked mail. More about that later in the alphabet. 
Have you ever sent or received an unusual item in the mail that wasn't packaged up? Did it make you or the recipient smile?

25 comments:

  1. Naked mail is also known as TTPO ('Torture the Post Office').

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    1. I am sure that is true, although some postal workers do like to see creativity.

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  2. Interesting pictures. Not sure what our letter carrier would think. Find me here. LINK

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    1. It's pretty amazing what the post office will deliver.

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  3. Great to be naked like this, but watch out for that parrot.

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    1. True! I bet it can give a nasty nip.

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  4. I've not received naked mail since The last time someone sent me a seaside post card! Does that count?

    Another day in Amble Bay!

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    1. It would count if they added something to the main picture, or drew something for you on the back :)

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    2. I don't agree here. Every postcard sent without envelope is considered naked mail. Otherwise, most mail artists reserve this term for "objects" sent without wrapping, not items made of paper or cardboard.

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  5. Going through your post today felt like being at an art gallery. So, thank you:)
    N is for Naada

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    1. Dean's work is definitely like some stuff I have seen in galleries - mail art is like having your own private collection for free.

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  6. The only naked mail I have received is postcards but they have not had further images on them only a letter on the back. I have been tempted to send some to a niece but fear they would be damaged in the post.

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    1. There is always that risk... but it is all part of mail art, and sometimes the trip through the post adds something unexpected.

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  7. 20 years ago I was involved in a lot of mailing of *stuff* - funniest item that ever arrived - a 3-foot inflated crayon. The mailman looked so cute - walking along with it tucked under his arm. He loved all the stuff that arrived - once he positioned a frog so that it was peeking out of the mailbox. I sent some hotdog buns, with rolled paper hotdogs (invitations). They were in plastic bags. Other items: clock, shoes, computer mouse, a t-shirt wrapped around cardboard and taped, with the address on the front....wish I had kept photos of everything...I'm not sure the PO would accept some of the items I sent 20 years ago. Also, I had made friends at the PO, so they always enjoyed my mailings. I let a hard Italian roll harden for a week - and wrote the address on it - the postage stuck - and they mailed it. I'm sure they would not do that today.

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    1. You've received so many fantastic items. Perishable food, even dried hard, would probably not pass muster these days. But you can mail coconuts :)

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  8. Hi Phillip - I can't say I have ... and I'd love a card like these .. but there's no ways I could create an envelope like that - clever to put it mildly. Naked seaside cards ... I've been careful to steer clear of! Cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/n-is-for-notable-rare-breeds-natives.html

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    1. The funny thing is, all you have to do is slap bits of whatever junk you have lying around onto a piece of card and pop it in the post - and voila, you're a mail artist!

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  9. I've never heard of naked mail art before and can imagine be very confused if anthing like the above photos came through my letter box! :D
    Today on my A-Z of my Favourite Things, N is for the Ninja Book Swap.

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    1. Only at first, then you'll be wanting more!

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  10. I don't recall receiving naked mail, unless you count flyers or newsletters that are folded and mailed without an envelope... but the ones I receive aren't worth keeping.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Nacho Cheese-flavored Chips

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    1. I would say unless they've been altered in some way, they don't really count.

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  11. Way to get "Naked" in your header to draw more readers! Very shrewd.

    My brother once mailed a tennis shoe naked. It arrived. And the letter carrier was clever too -- they tied the shoelaces around the mailbox. It was great fun.

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    1. Sounds fantastic! And at least one blog site flagged me as spam, so the 'Naked' only got me so far.

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  12. Love the name! I would enjoy getting some naked mail. My husband (fiance at the time) used to send me letters and he would draw pictures on the outside envelope, but they weren't technically "naked."
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    Gail Park

    Making Life an Art

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    1. You should send him one just to remind him of the good old days.

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