Guido Vermeulen's mail art envelopes are like worlds into themselves and at the same time they are part of the much larger whole.
(a comment by NANCY BELL SCOTT, USA, on the IUOMA network)
Guido's paintings are like finding images in the clouds
(a comment by Kathleen D. Johnson, USA, on IUOMA)
(a comment by Kathleen D. Johnson, USA, on IUOMA)
Guido does not paint monsters but spirits and ghosts, full of love, tenderness and compassion
(LIZA LEYLA during a conversation, Belgium)
His ability to express emotions through painting is a beautiful gift. Allowing oneself to feel sadness is the most direct route through grief. His paintings feel peaceful and kind.
(STEPHEN WALKER, USA)
My life is shifting... Your work is intangible, ethereal, cosmically rewarding. i eat it up & savor it like a great sandwich! It made my day!
(Lisa PEREZ, USA, on IUOMA)
Thank you for the TALISMAN painting on the envelope. It is real cool and creepy at the same time. I haven’t seen a piece of abstract capture such as pain and emotion so well since I visited the museum of art in Toledo. Bravo!
(Sarah Jo Pender, USA, from the Indiana Women’s Prison)
I suppose you could characterize Guido's painting style as expressionist. I know he is very interested in dreams as a source for art and poetry, and these particular chapter pages seem like shadowy dream corridors filled with shifting images and scenes. The Michaux quotes work as a counterpoint, Guido's art is taking over when the limits of language have been reached.
(De Villo Sloan, USA, on my tribute pages to Henri Michaux, see LAMUSAR blog)
Guido’s art expressions are always poems and they show us the reality of our real faces and souls (Mariana Serban, Romania)
His titles have both inspired and educated me (Alicia Starr, USA)
dinsdag 27 juli 2010
Intervention on a mail art envelope, sent to Patrizia Tic Tac in Germany. She proposes projects on bubbles and messages in bottles.
In the envelope this poetic text:
A message in a cloud of bubbles
FOR PC TICTAC
The wind didn't move the wounds in my soul
They were bubbles exploding in the uptight air
They became non existent to the naked eye
But visible they still were on the feathers of firebirds
On the breath of dying fish, on the tongue of clouds
The pound simplicity of oil caused hurricanes
Sweet cane dried the horizon
Kept in a bottle for too long
Earth will challenge fire
Storm in the attic
Evaporating tear drop
Liquid gas attacks
the foundations of our house
I tried in vain to clean
the fur of cats
A pelican committed pointless suicide
No young to feed
except an old iceberg
melting to a golden state of memory loss
What we remember
What we finally remember
is reduced to the bubble I forgot
in the sea of drowning childhood dreams.
26 July 2010
Also a work I mailed to Elizabeth O' Donnell, together with this letter:
Brussels, 25 July 2010
I found your sea project by accident, by browsing through mail art blogs. What attracted me was the theme (the sea) and the fact you live on an isle, part of Alaska.
Alaska?! Oh my god, Palin country, that b*** !!!
I think that one of the reasons why so many voted for Obama was to keep that loony out of office (what would happen if that old Vietnam veteran would die and she got hands of power, oh what a global nightmare we've escaped, Palin I've to say this in her support, made me feel closer to lemmings! If you don't understand this: it's a beautiful species that make the choice of collective suicide to avoid chaos and disorder, oops!!!
Okay, I like exaggerating! It's like seeing on a map where Alaska is and then realizing it's part of the USA. That's as plausible as thinking of the Falkland Isles that are part of the United Kingdom. Reminds me of a couple of English aristocrats who were so worried about the cold war and a possible nuclear holocaust they moved to the Falklands because they thought it would be the most likely place to be crushed by war till a certain Iron Lady decided on a game of gang or hand wrestling with a bunch of Argentine dictators. Oh boy, oh sister, oh dear lady of the drunken lakes, anyway, I can understand (and even be jalous of the fact) you live in Alaska, so don't think about this as a bad European joke, please!!!
My best friend in mail art was a woman who lived in the U.P. of Michigan, close to the Canadian border and I understood from her the why's about moving to an area of recluse.
She died of cancer some years ago and I'm still in mourning! I lost a friend who can't be replaced, who'll never be replaced and that's how it is…
Okay, I write poetry and that's a bad sign for many people!
In 2007 I published THE SCIENCE OF FISH (de wetenschap der vissen, in Dutch). So most of these poems are fish or sea or ocean related. Because in Dutch I'm not sure you would like a copy of this publication? The book contains a few collages, sea or fish related. I printed one of them: LA MER ME VEUT PLUS QUE LA MER (the sea claims more of me than the sea).
These words (in French this time, I live in Belgium, a country with 3 languages: Dutch-French and German, so English is "only" our 4th tongue) are words I wrote in the wet sand of the beach at the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco in 1997. In an instant they were washed away by the waves. This kind of action I've repeated at many beaches, sometimes words, sometimes drawings or images like you'll see in the other print I made. I also adapted an old text to complete the occasion.
The bird drawing was made on the beach of Knokke in Belgium. Knokke is a terrible place at the seaside in fact, a beach for the rich people of the country. Apartments there are sold for a million dollars and the mayor of this North Sea town fulminates against fridge box tourists (he means by that poor people who come to the sea with a fridge box containing their own food and drinks, so they don't support the "local economy"). I think he would be an excellent f*** buddy for Lady Plain Palin and all her wealthy snotty friends against health insurance for all these poor sea horses. Okay, maybe you've another vision, maybe…
Intervention on a mail art envelope for Elizabeth O' Donnell who has a project on the sea and lives on an isle part of Alaska. Work accompanied by this text:
There is the sea claiming more of me than the sea
There is the stone demanding more of me than touching its surface.
There is the tree expelling me as a possible protector, narrowing me down to the navel of Delphi through the warning croak of crow:
"you guys have definitively disturbed the balance and now it's time
-yours and not mine- to pay the price of global pain."
There is that pain.
Pain caused by?
Departure, knowledge, the circle, the return, the stronghold of the rainbow, the bow of my heart, the hit, the miss, the dying horse at full gallop, the blood dripping from the moon, that unborn child I'll never meet!
Who's that child?
Born from the sun or born from a sea horse?
Written in sand or written in foam?
That child could have been mine or could have been me!
I was so fresh and innocent before they mutilated my shadow in the trick box
of desperate darkness. You still can see the waves of angry thunderclouds; fog granules
traveling from the mountain to the bay, rain drops shouting for deliverance.
That child became a night raven, a small blackbird, an alienated fish with winter wings
waiting on the whaling salvation through the 4th dimension of an isle near Alaska.
Flashback to the sea!
The ocean at the dawn of my existence, my window on eternity, so it seems to be…
Waves have never learned how to avoid any beach?
The lemmings push their motive of diligence to the last extremities.
Earthquake of pain
Sung by blackbirds
Photography of nothingness
Washed away by?
How to solve the tragedy of the human race?
Stop thinking in seconds like you always do
Adopt the length of geological breath
Revolve your body orbiting around the sun
Be the dew on the leaves of lover's lips
Shift to the shape of dancing feathers
Hear the whispering wet sand of the beach:
"there is the sea claiming more of me than the sea
the sea desiring more than sea
so she, who is my sea, will know my truth by telling me
or will tell my truth by knowing me!"
vrijdag 23 juli 2010
Detail of an old painting. Work realized in Malta with frottage techniques on the stairs of Valletta.
maandag 19 juli 2010
Intervention on a mail art envelope. For the blackbird project of David Stone. A week later I wrote this text around the image:
To all victims of christianity, including myself.
I’m wearing a blackbird mask inside my head
for all the sins I’ve not committed
Fear was part of a self thought education
Came to me as natural as Tchernobyl’s radiation.
Shining through my eyes were those mutated plants
growing in mutilated bodies on the borderline
of wrong and purple midsummer migrations.
Why don’t you do right like some other men do?
shouted a milkshake in a mind-blowing desert.
Christ on the cross in your name
Jews were slaughtered as cattle already in the 4th century
Books were burned, women were stoned to death
Bishops raped little pagan boys & girls
Priests told me to believe in hell and damnation
to suffocate red resistance, to embrace suit surrender.
I’m wearing their masks inside my skin
They cauterized my soul with many irons
Yes, my whole life has been an estimation
of the damage cause by holy fires and learning
how to heal the third-degree burns in my brain.
Spontaneous combustion of the heart
makes me a bewildered displaced person.
It took me 56 years to renounce my catholic birth.
Free at last, free at last, I want to be buried
in untamed unhallowed earth. I want to be
married to any sulphur witch.
27 July 2010
Gruesome collage I made as a painful tribute to Semira Adamu. This refugee was deported to her home country and was murdered in the process by the Belgian state police. They suffocated her with a pillow because she resisted her deportation.
Collage based on the notorious Billy Holyday song.
Published also in the poetry edition "the science of fish".
The original is in the collection of the French Belgian poet Jean Dumortier.
Believe it or not but while uploading this on the site, the radio plays "life can be so sweet on the sunny side of the street" sung by ... Billy Holyday.
Later I wrote also my own Strange Fruit poem around the collage (in Dutch):
Achter de maskers
schuilt de staarziekte
van rottend fruit
wachtend op de terugkeer van het gras.
Ze vallen in mijn schoot,
de gemiste levens,
de vermiste kinderen
hebben haar ziel doorboord.
Het zwarte is een raar soort dier.
Het schuilt in mij als bedreigde
die ik blootleg als ik maar lang genoeg
wroet en mijn angst de kans geef
Ik heb het dansen verleerd
in het verleden zeer en zeer verleden
van deze wrede wereld.
Voel me kraai te midden van de haaien.
Voed me aan het lijden van hun lijken.
(en toch triomfeert de honger
en zegt mij met de schaal van bomen
dat zelfs hun schaduw niet gewenst is.
Mijn woede knaagt dan maar
aan de diepteafdruk van een laffe galg.
Guido Vermeulen, Belgium
I think I made this collage for Wyndham, the youngest son of Lois Klassen and Carl Wiebe, when he was a little boy. I made it with leftover materials of the collage "refugees in the living room". See above.
A plastified copy was also mailed to Ginger Mayerson in the USA.
Also a collage published in the poetry edition "the science of fish". The original I made for Hélène Papot, the compagnon of Laurent d'Ursel, to thank her for the translations in French of my cycle of poems "The Forest pledged my shadow". The text is something I wrote in the sand of the beach near the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco. I watched how the waves washed away my words. Beautiful moment!