Buster Cleveland (1943-1998)
ART FOR UM, 1993
UNIQUE hand-made "magazine" / mail art postcard: printed paper, handmade postage stamp, USPS stamp on foam core.
5 1/4h x 5 1/4w in
13.34h x 13.34w cm
Buster Cleveland’s mail art series ART FOR UM consisted of laser printed collaged images all mounted to 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 inch pieces of foam core. Created from 1992 to 1998 and totally approximately sixty issues, these conceptually rich works are loosely based on the covers of contemporary Artforum magazines. The image for each magazine consisted of collected magazine clippings, photographs and ephemera of celebrities, pop culture, artists and art history combined with an original Artforum cover. Each collage was scaled down with a laser printer to postcard size and then mounted to foam core. Cleveland would then add the recipient’s address to the backside and embellish it with rubber stamp markings, texts printed on paper, and handmade postage stamps—which would be adhered alongside the regulation United States Postal Service stamp. Subscriptions to ART FOR UM were open to anyone and would be sent through the mail for a a fee of $100 for a yearlong monthly subscription or $1000 for a lifetime subscription.
Death is a pervasive theme explored throughout the ART FOR UM issues. This issue references Guglielmo Achille Cavellini (1914 – 1990). In 1971 Cavellini coined the term autostoricizzazione (self-historicization) in which he created a deliberate popular history about himself through self-promotion believing it to be his task to write his biography before it could be written after his death which he determined would happen in 2014.