Exquisite Corpses By Mail (Blog)


As a visual artist and extrovert, I’ve sometimes envied musician friends, whose art form more naturally lends itself to collaboration and socializing. (I want people to rock out to my drawings! Unfair.)

It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that I’m tickled by a collaborative game the Surrealists played, in which an artist draws on a sheet of paper, folds it to conceal their drawing, and passes it on to others for their contributions. The end result, called an exquisite corpse, can be wildly imaginative.

In the before times, this made a great party game: a group of artists sitting in a circle, swapping drawings and laughing. What creative energy and novelty and fun!

During a pandemic — when novelty and fun are in shorter supply — exquisite corpses are still feasible, thanks to USPS, and just as delightful.

Below are some products of the COVIDian exquisite corpsing by mail I’ve engaged in. (Participating in this activity has been a gift. A big “thank you” to the other artists who’ve taken part!)