Back to Frank Turek site

Postcards to Comrades show poster

This show has been reviewed the Portland on-line news and arts journal The Bollard.
Review by Jeff Badger

bound by Frank Turek

Postcards to Comrades

New editions of prints from a 15 month mailart project by
Frank Turek
December 2nd 2005- January 28 2006

Back in July of 2004 I though I would share my visual work with some of my close friends by mailing a postcard version of a scanned assemblage piece. I had discovered a way to scan an assemblage into my computer and print with quality pigment ink prints on heavy poster board which could then be sent though the mail. The first attempt worked so well that it became a
monthly mailing of an assemblage piece and the list of recipients blossomed from the initial 9 to 25. The recipients were a variety of acquaintances with the common thread of being fellow creators that had inspired or encouraged my own work. The best word I could find to denote such a person is "comrade", giving me the title to the show. The monthly series came to an end this October leaving me with fifteen finished pieces. I thought that I would find the best quality paper in order to print off a limited edition of high quality prints. All of the prints in the show are printed, using archival quality pigment inks, in the same dimension of the original postcards and I've included an extra alternate piece that was never originally issued.

Introduction essay from the exhibit

Back to art gallery archive

Rhapsody in Spleen by Frank Turek
Rhapsody in Spleen (inside view)

Thinking and Feeling by Frank Turek
Thinking and Feeling

back to top
Portraits to Comrades

The mail art project

In the summer of 2004 I felt like sharing my visual thoughts with some of my close friends. I had been experimenting with scanning my assemblage work into my computer so that I could make a print image. I was printing on heavy card stock using water resistant pigment inks. Excited by the results I made postcard sized prints and sent them to a handful of friends. I also realized that the reverse side of the card allowed for a brief paragraph of text, which also became a format to keep the recipients up on my current musings. I gradually increased the mailing list to consist of 25 fellow creator acquaintances, some of whom I had known for a while and some I had only recently gotten to know. All the recipient's work inspired me in some way and my monthly card was a way of saying thanks.

The print exhibit

Through this year-long endeavor of learning this digital printing process and trying out high quality inks and papers I thought that I would to put together a print edition of each post card image. The prints are the same size as the original postcards. I've also included a few alternate scans that were never included in the mail art project. All of the prints use archival quality pigment inks are on Somerset 100% cotton acid free paper. There was no digital manipulation of the image other than cropping and resizing and color balancing the exposure during the printing process. In designing the show I've displayed the prints in chronological order and I've included on display the text that was on the reverse side of the original card.

The philosophy

My assemblage work has always been a form of cultural comment or criticism. Using the mass-produced, material artifacts from my surroundings has always made sense to me, in a very basic way, to use culture to speak to culture. Much the same as how we use words to talk about language and just as a poet or philosopher would take meticulous care in choosing words to convey ideas, I employ the same discretion in the use of my materials. The playful gestures and absurdities are fro me helpful in-roads to thinking. My attempt is to bring to bear the profound nature of us within the world of our own creation, and what that means and implies. Some of my pieces encompass a specific idea while others approach a greater concept. There is certainly multi-layered meanings to the materials that I use, which may encourage too divergent of ideas. It is my hope however that I can create a focus of the pieces so that it generates a deeper understanding and that viewers will stop, consider and wonder.


back to top