22nd March 2007


Ray Johnson. Photo by Bill Wilson"Correspondence art consists of compression of ideas and images into envelopes. And I spent my entire life condensing, in a conceptual art to fashion, fitting things to fit envelope sizes and folding things to fold into envelopes. I have gone through this ritual day after day, year after year for many, many years. That's my working process when I'm my studio. I'm not static at all. I'm completely fluid. I just go from one idea to the next. It's a complete flow of the imagination. I deal with things that are constantly being chopped up and shuffled and moved around. 'Cause I'm not a painter, I'm a collagist. But it gets to some point where what can you do with it after you've done it? That's why I began putting everything into envelopes. I had this stockpile of material, so I put them into envelopes and mailed them off to everybody everywhere. I'm very fond of the idea of the message in the bottle... and the chance of it being found or never being... That's pure romance. But, once again, that was a dilemma as to what does one do with one's sculptures or one's paintings or one's drawings. So I solved that problem by chopping them up all into little pieces and mailing them to people."

Ray Johnson (1928-1995)