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)
maandag 30 augustus 2010
woensdag 25 augustus 2010
maandag 23 augustus 2010
donderdag 19 augustus 2010
Intervention on a mail art envelope, mailed to Frank De Vos in Belgium. Frank is the village poet of Doel, a village condemned to disappear for the construction of a new dock for the Antwerp harbor. Doel is also the location of the Flemish nuclear power plants in Belgium.
dinsdag 17 augustus 2010
Intervention on a mail art envelope, mailed to Mariska Van Den Heuvel in the Netherlands, accompanied by a short statement:
This be a dream
Afraid of the white paper? I don't see how this is possible. Very early I discovered that if you mix different medium on a paper , ghosts appeared automatically on the paper.
The fusion of ink, acrylic paints, water colors and water create automatic drawings or automatic impressions of creatures. You only have to see them and act on them.
This work was created by mixing red, yellow and blue watercolors together, let it rest and see the images that were automatically created.
The next day I accentuated this with black china ink and some white and red.
My role was to see the world hidden in the paper and make it visible on the surface.
It's like rendering a well-hidden dream more visible. You see it and yet you don't understand its meaning. This painting is like a dream, a dream I like.
Intervention on a mail art envelope for the project "odd or weird looking animals" proposed by Heleen De Vaan from the Netherlands, accompanied by this text:
This be a sacred ritual
The Cobra and some of the outsider artists were inspired by how children draw and paint, so non-academic in essence. They invent their own world and techniques till education strikes back and tell them "to color within the lines" for instance.
As a kid I used crayons and I wondered if it was possible to paint with acrylic paints like drawing or stroking with crayons. First I used a coat of white on the paper and poured some rinsing water on that, so it became a canvas of different grayish tones. Then I put diluted other colors on that surface, with tiny strokes to have a crayon like effect. This resulted in a primitive animal drawing in a landscape. I let it draw for a day and then continued with some ink and water colors in similar tones as the acrylic ones. The effects and contrasts got milder, so I'll avoid that in a next work.
What was the purpose of the first cave paintings. Some see this as the beginning of art. Some see this as "decorating" the cave. Many see this as very functional and society related art.
The paintings were mainly on animals to be hunted to feed the cave community. So painting the animal was part of a hunting preparation? Try to catch the essence, the soul of the animal, so later you could catch the body? Something like that.
I'm not a hunter but I would like to catch my dreams, how I dreamt as a child? This for me is my sacred ritual.
The sun image is a bit of a joke and a tribute to the TV serial "Nurse Jacky".
Jacky and her husband are summoned to the school of their daughters. The youngest makes excellent technical drawings but there is no sun in her artwork, so the girl is labeled as problematic and should get medication and psychiatric treatment. This provokes a rebellion of nurse Jacky against these experts of the children's soul.
More and more we live in a society in the hands of experts.
They are the new inquisitors of the world…
De dieren van onze dromen hoeven geen dokters
Enkel woorden die de lenzen van grenzen genezen in de wind
Zij hoeven geen kooien, zij hoeven geen sloten
Enkel vleugels op rotsen en de hartkloppende stilte van jagers
Zij zijn zomaar tot wolken in water verdampt in gletsjers en bergen
& schuilen binnen de kamers van ziektedragers in de verbeelding
van wie wij waren als kind.
Intervention on a mail art envelope for Lavona Sherarts, accompanied by this text:
I'm afraid of a kiss in the dark
dedicated to Lavona Sherarts
Who hasn't been attracted by Klimt's painting "the kiss"?
The total surrender in that kiss makes me wonder if these lovers were "legal"?
It's not the kiss of a married couple, I guess, but the kiss of clandestine lovers.
Love is clandestine or is not, is one of the main themes of my latest poetry edition "the alphabet of love". Melody Gardot sings the same point of view in her amazing song "make me your lover undercover or don't ever love me at all".
Certain people (more and more is the impression I'm getting) suffer from "fear of contamination". Tainted love was a major song from the eighties. Has Aids something to do with those fears or is it the general evolution of our society. We have become so clean and odorless compared to the generations before us, we don't know exactly how to interrelate anymore. We even prefer artificial smells than natural ones.
Certainly in American society this is very visible. How to become an outcast there? Be poor, don't have a driver license, lack white teeth! And sneezing in public is considered as a public crime!!
So how do we touch each other in such a world, how do we kiss, that long longing surrendering kiss like lovers do? Do you kiss and then run to the bathroom to have a thorough sponge bath and brush teeth and tongue for half an hour? A few seconds of body contact followed by a cleaning and cleansing of body and soul?
Let's shake hands and then off to the bathroom again.
I had a lady friend once who was keen on sex but she couldn't stand the smell of sweat, not the one of her lover(s), not her own. So love making was a kind of tragicomedy. She wanted to make love but get it done as fast as possible. Okay, most men will find this to their own rhythm but for me this was part of a nightmare scenario: love reduced to a determined time frame by perspiration.
On a more serious level to be afraid of kissing means to be afraid of kissing the wrong person. How do you know who's Mr or Mrs Right and who's Mr or Mrs Wrong. It's an eternal question as old as the world and as old as relations exist. Woody Allen made it the main topic of his early movie "Love and Death". Person A loves B but B is in love with C who's in love with A. So we all love the wrong person and sometimes settle for the "less of evils".
Like one of my femail friends explained me years ago: "I don't love my husband but they are worse men on this planet, so I prefer this relationship even if I'm not happy".
Could I kiss such a friend? I doubt it but sometimes you do because you don't know each other that much. You react on hormones, smells, pheromonal attraction, body language.
The other language follows later and then you suddenly realize that you have not much in common, yes, 2 hearts are beating but are not beating together, despite the exchanged kisses in the light and in the dark.
On a very serious level I'm very afraid of the kisses in the dark by the spirits in the house. You may consider this as a joke but for me it's not. I've always been able to communicate with ghosts in the house, not constantly, but from time to time. Once this evolves in a friendly and teasing relationship it becomes tricky. Like the time I felt the presence of a naked body in my bed who used her lips and breasts to tease me and then flew away across the room, laughing loudly at my scared reaction. Men who say that women are teasers have never met a femail ghost…
Guido Vermeulen, 14 August 2010
vrijdag 13 augustus 2010
Intervention on a mail art envelope. Painting that reminded me of the sweet acid poem THIS BE THE VERSE written by Philip Larkin. It was Lavona Sherarts who introduced me to this poem in 1995. She mailed a copy of the poem to all her kids. It made me very silent. Education is a kind of hara kiri sword, I guess.
THIS BE THE VERSE
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
PHILIP LARKIN (1922-1985)
Poem from High Windows, published in 1974
Personal delivery mail to Les amis du square Armand Steurs in Belgium.
Intervention on a mail art envelope, mailed to Jarmo Sermilä in Finland, accompanied by this new poem, written under influence of listening to his CD "City Music"
Dedicated to Jarmo Sermilä
While listening to City Music
Why do you think Dali
was melting watches
in the dark canvas of his mind?
He was melting time
tried to reduce it
to a random tone
to the tune of a single snow flake
embracing the placid fate of fluidity
Why do you think Lady Sun
is melting a snow man?
Fed up with white arrogance
opening the gate of continuity
blocking the nostrils of the ear
Why do you think we hear
the scream of water
on the skin of time?
Why do you think Alzheimer
melts the mind?
Why do you think I
Why do you think a railway
always smiles back in the dark?
Why do you think questions
alter as passing clouds?
Why do you think cities
are most of the time invisible
As Love is
according to my watch.
19 August 2010
Part of the Inner Prisons project was to deal with one's fears. So I started playing with all the things (small and big) that I feared, allowed me to some black humor, so to speak. To be continued, for sure !!!
I mailed this work to Thorsten Fuhrmann in Germany.
Intervention on a mail art envelope for the Mute Sounds project of Pedro Bericat in Spain, accompanied by this text:
For Pedro Bericat
War is over
Till the next one
I'm afraid of the one-minute silence
of peace in between
because that silence my friends
is just filled with more hatred
more guns and more reasons
to start a new one
more deadly more efficient more clever
I'm afraid of all these assholes
calling for more efficiency and excellence
The next bomb will be something else
You ain't seen nothing yet!
I'm afraid of the truth hidden in silent songs
Afraid of the wind evaporation in collapsing lungs
Afraid of black rain and the sheet music of menacing clouds
Lennon was so right and so wrong at the same time
War is over
Till the next one
donderdag 12 augustus 2010
Intervention on a mail art envelope, also for the project "message in a bottle", for PC Tictac in Germany.
Mailed to Patrizia Tictac in Germany for her project "Message in a bottle", accompanied by this text:
Amelia was so in love
with the sea she became
a boat in a bottle
for the braking waves.
Throw me overboard
before I suffocate
the seagulls heard her plea
Throw me near the cliffs
so I can get stranded
to grow my roots to reach
the sky & clouds will catch
my longings & rain me back
to the memories of whom I was.
What's after all a message in a bottle?
Nothing but the stowaway of our emotions,
time capsules of our mood swings,
could be the compression of a depression
or a long lecture tape looking for identical heartbeats,
like prehistoric chips dialing to the sun,
rhythmic sounds spelling S E H N S U C H T blues
for the melting of Iceberg legs
& the clipping of our wings.
Intervention on a mail art envelope for David Stone, USA. Reference to the dropping of the A bomb on Hiroshima. I also added the English translation of the poem "H" published in the edition "the alphabet of love".
Dedicated to Frank Dingenen
Of winds I'm not afraid
but scared to death
I am of the air
For instance what remained
as glue on the collective iris
a few seconds after 8.15 AM
on August 6 in the year 45.
Indefinite time later
an orphan plays in an unknown crater
with a grinning hand-grenade.
The bird as spectator
doesn't whistle any longer.
It burned the heaven of the larynx
for the sake of peace.
And we, Hermes?
We who without wings wearisome continue
We attach tubular bells to our tormenting cancers.
Guide us disguised as dogs for the blind
to the end of seeing
to the and of time awareness
of a falling dream drowning in the mud.
dinsdag 3 augustus 2010
Intervention on a mail art envelope I sent to the project "mail us art" proposed by the cultural center ZAMEK in Poland. The work is connected with a beautiful Japanese zen haiku. Documentation of the project will be visible on the site:
maandag 2 augustus 2010
Trouvé ton blog par hazard et aimé l'hazard du facteur Cheval et autres animaux "bruts".
En effet la peinture de la créature bizarre sur l'enveloppe est le résultat de renverser un verre de vin rouge pendant une session de postal art hier soir. Bon, c'était un vin Italien (un Montepulciano d'Abruzzo de Contini 2008) alors tout devient possible!
J'ai regardé mon sol et le vin dessinait cette créature que j'ai "copié".
Je ne sais pas pourquoi on fait de l'art. L'hasard de la nature fait toujours mieux le travail que recherche l'humain en question permanente (hihi, humour Belge flamande, mais oui, Sire, il n'y pas plus de Belges, il n'y a que des flamands et des wallons et des bruxellois soit de souche flamande soit de souche francophone, godverdoeme!!!)
Enfin, le tout n'est pas rose non plus dans la douce France, vous avez Sarko mais ou moins lui il a Carla et elle me fait bander, zucht (soupir en néerlandais) car Woody Allen est de mon avis aussi, le salopard, LA DI DA, LA DI DA (dixit Annie Hall).
Faut me comprendre, je préfère Carla aux princesses. Les dernières sont seulement mangeables avec de l'agneau et je n'aime pas trop les dieux sanguinaires non plus!
Ce n'est pas le vin qui me dérange
C'est le soi-disant ordre
Je comprends Alice
Je questionne seulement
pas en vin mais en hommes
M'enfin qui parle?!
Mon choix personnel en effet
est souvent sous vent?
noyé dans le vin
Je ne vois pas l'ange voisin
Je vois la pute de Nicaragua
Je vois la chute du Niagara
Je ne suis pas mieux que les politiciens
qui regardent tomber le ciel sur la terre
affamée des autres.
Je gratte le ciel
d'une existence niée
de gitans et de gitanes
peuplée par le bleu
caché dans l'herbe
couvé dans l'oeuf
en dehors du bateau
et de la mer qui gonfle et gonfle en essayant de sauver
nos derniers désirs en miettes.
Brussels, 31 July 2010
Thank you for mailing me your MUBE NARU KANA postcard art. I've put the image on Facebook, IUOMA and the Friour Multiply Network site, so maximum exposure so to speak!
I don't know if you know the art of MASAMI TERAOKA? He continues in the tradition of the Japanese print makers but with contemporary themes and techniques. He made a serial of prints against the invasion of Mc Donalds in Japan. His works and creations are published in the book "Waves and Plagues, the art of Masami Teraoka" (Chronicle Books ISBN 0-87701-590-2)
The first art I bought decades ago were some Japanese prints. I became attracted to that culture based on reading books, so literature (Mishima, Oë; Fukazawa, Murakami, Yoshimoto, Tanazaki, Kawabata, Ozeki, Kagawa, Dazai, Niwa, Ishizaka, Akutagawa, Nagai and some others) and movies of course (Kurosawa, Imamura, Ishii, Kobayoshi, Oshima, Kawase, Kitano and others).
My love for poetry made me discover HAIKU at a very early age (as a teen in fact). I befriended a priest teacher who published his own Haiku zine called "WATER EN WOLKEN" (Water and clouds, in Dutch). That priest renounced the catholic church because he fell in love with a nurse, married her and lost in consequence his teaching job in the catholic school I was attending …
Discovering a culture is an eye opener always but you have to keep an open eye also on the blind spots of that culture.
I find Japanese culture (which I love!) also extremely sadistic and perverse at some times.
I understand and approve the criticism of Teraoka on the evolution of food culture (this criticism is not weird by the way) but today you also see the introduction of a Japanese fast food culture in the world (a kind of Sushi fast food restaurants similar to the Mc Donald one).
From the gallery owner in Brussels where I bought my first Japanese prints I learned about the taboo on butchers in Japan. They are outcasts and paria's because they work with meat!
Is there no end to exclusion of groups considered as unclean because they do a particular kind of job? All cultures "seem to be sick in the same bed" (Flemish expression).
Japan is keen of fish, well on eating fish anyway, they are more and more labeled as organizing a world wide slaughterhouse of the ocean, just for expanding their own food purposes.
Are they any Haiku on fish? Sympathizing with fish I mean?
Maybe your knowledge is better or bigger than mine?
I did not find any which is peculiar or understandable in the sense fish is seen as mainly a food source without a soul. Strange if you compare this with the haikus on birds, snails, frogs, insects, cats and dogs and so on.
I only know a rather famous fishing Haiku by Basho, open of course to interpretation and I know it only by English translations:
"Watching the cormorant fishing boats
I was full of sorrow"
(in the translation of Jonathan Clements, book "the moon in the pines")
"Delight, then sorrow
aboard the cormorant
(in the translation of Sam Hamill, book "the sound of water")
Translation one reads as a kind of compassion for the fish?
Translation two reads as a compassion for fish and fishermen??
Maybe you can enlighten me?
That fish angle made me do the works I've included. The image in b/w is a mirror of the one in color. I like to play with mirror images and how things change or alter or transform once you make the voyage through the looking glass.
By the way Antic-Ham of South Korea has a similar food call to yours. I've included her flyer and my postcard contribution to the project. In fact she mails a postcard with stamp art and asks that you add & return. So ask her for a post card if you are interested in participating.
Postal greetings from http://guidovermeulen.blogspot.com
A new work on a mail art envelope mailed to the Zadarama 2010 project in Croatia. This time they are asking works inspired by the Glagolitic alphabet (see Wikipedia). This work on the envelope is loosely inspired on the letter TO KNOW, which brought me in a funny way to the classic Abba song.