Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Italian Letters

First Day Cover - An artists' book by me, Open 18' x 12"
Hi Willow this post is dedicated to you. In 1982 I was rummaging through some first day covers at a local stamp shop. I kept noticing the same name recurring James, Jimmy, Jake & JK Risser. I looked closer and noticed that they all seem to have been written by the one person a Lise in Firenze, Italy. I spent the next hour combing through the box and discovered about 28 envelopes with Risser as the person that had been written to and most were signed with Lise. There were some with some form of mail art on them. I decided I had to have them and bought the lot. They sat in a box for about 3 years. My question was what do I do with these? I decided I wanted to share them and went about creating a book structure that would display them for viewing and would house them. It is an accordion structure, using acrylic for the pages.
The response to the piece in a show I did was astounding. Everyone was trying to figure out what the story was about. Who were these people and why the art element? What were the seemingly cryptic messages in the art? In all the envelopes there was but one letter but what a sweet one it was. Here are some images for you. To me they are a work of art in themselves
Soon after I went searching for the story behind them. I googled and got nowhere. About 5 years later I googled again using only the two names I had, Risser and Lise (no surname). It seems the Internet had expanded!!
Tomorrow; How I located the writer & the story of Lise & Jim.