As part of his Mail and Correspondence Art, David Cole painted the envelopes in which he sent his work. Many, if not most, Mail Artists do this, but two things particularly distinguish Cole's envelope work. First, he was simply very good at it, certainly one of the best. Postal carriers delivering mail to me often remarked on the strangeness of the envelopes they delivered, but they seemed to particularly like Cole's paintings. Second, Cole created new works out of copies of the envelopes. One direction this took was 11" x 17" poems made of reduced composites of previously painted envelopes, as you can see in Paumonock Traveler. In some of these, Cole explored ideas associated with envelopes as objects, as metaphors, as grounds for new work. Another direction came in the form of further reduced reproductions, which Cole made into stamps which he could pass around for other people to use, or to place on new envelopes himself. We present here one of the sheets of stamps made in this fashion, Paumonock Envelope Postage Stamps, 1994. This sheet was scanned at actual size. We present Paumonock Traveller in both reduced and large, detailed scales.
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