Mail Art Paintings
February 3 – March 16, 2024
Mail art, historically found in the worlds of zines and conceptual practices, often resides in the scale limitations of the mailbox. In this series of paintings by Mitsuko Brooks, everything is blown up, giving the symbols and formats of letterheads and stamps powerful symbolic strength, reimagined as a tour de force. These gestures are elegantly subverted with a delicate balance in Mitsuko's larger than life paintings of letters.
Trompe l'oeil stamps are draped on the surfaces of her canvases like art hung in a salon, twisting the two-dimensional surface of the painting into cozy decorous rooms for the mind to wander off to. Mitsuko is a painter of washed out cityscapes, marbling, calligraphy, and sometimes even cartography. With these works, she boldly takes on many roles as a master crafter, everything from armchair architect to astrologer.
In Mitsuko’s paintings of letters, a beautiful tension emerges between the personal handmade qualities of snail mail and the mechanized procedural forces of the postal service. With these translations of correspondence to canvas, Mitsuko finds meaning between the vernacular specificity of a certain time and place and the liminality and interconnectedness of globalization.