One could argue that it was bound to happen. Postal envelopes had been sent by the millions for over a century and their rigid delivery requirements obscured the creative potential. Those paper rectangles migrating around the world are essentially each a small canvas, begging for personalized attention. Why not adorn the humble envelope with art and thrill the recipient? As long as the mailing address is legible, the real estate surrounding it is fair game for expression.
Thrasher skate magazine has been the greatest beneficiary of envelope art. No claims are made that Thrasher was the first or only destination to receive a sustained flow of envelope art. But their bounty of submissions is extraordinary, both in terms of quality and quantity. To celebrate nearly four decades of this tradition, Thrasher recently published Mail Drop: 38 Years of Reader Art. Featuring over 1,200 envelopes, this book is a visual feast to the point of gluttony. More than a few viewers have reported that the book’s ocular onslaught is so overwhelming that the content can only be digested in discrete chunks. Once the color-capturing cones in their eyes have binged and purged, however, they always come back for more.
The Thrasher staff knew this book was going to be a party and that a lot of artists would be in attendance within its pages. To elevate the atmosphere of this event, Thrasher also invited dignified guests from the intersecting skate and art worlds to send their own envelopes. Many of the names below will be familiar to the Juxtapoz audience. The instructions were simple—grab an envelope, make your mark on it (any kind of mark will do), and send it along. The response speaks itself. The Thrasher staff sends a heartfelt thank you to all of artists who contributed to this monumental book. —Adam Creagan