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    Amigos = Friends
    Buzón de Arte/Arte de Buzón (Caracas, Venezuela). -- 1976
    Journal article – Essays
    Barboza, Diego. "Amigos = Friends." Buzón de Arte/Arte de Buzón (Caracas, Venezuela), 1976.

In this editorial, published in the second issue of the bilingual magazine Buzón de Arte/Arte de Buzón, the Venezuelan artist Diego Barboza—who was the director and editor of the magazine—describes the issue, explaining that it includes information about international events and activities. He says that Mail Art is the first movement in the history of art to be produced simultaneously in different parts of the world, describing it as a new form of expression and communication that acknowledges the artist’s true creative role. Barboza outlines the magazine’s goals, which include providing everyone with an international forum devoted to publishing works and anything that enriches the process in which “the language of your ideas contributes to my ideas.”    


Buzón de arte/Arte de Buzón, the bilingual (Spanish-English) (tabloid) magazine, managed and edited by the artist Diego Barboza (1945–2003), appeared just twice: in January and March (Caracas, 1976). The editorial in this second issue outlines the goals and the nature of the magazine, and explains the importance of mail art as an avant-garde medium that emerged in the late 1970s. The Buzón de Arte appeared concurrently with mail art, hence the importance of this document. In the editorial, Barboza addresses readers (his “Friends”) as though he were writing an open letter to them to discuss the basic concept and idea of Mail Art, insisting that “it is not a style” but a new form of expression and communication that breaks with customary art forms. He also calls mail art one of the most important artistic languages of the 1970s because it “acknowledges the true creative role of the artist at a time when art and artists are threatened by the mass production of consumer products.” Barboza explains that the “Mail Art Revolution” is not about “competitive art;” on the contrary, it is a form of art in which “artists receive works that enrich their own works” and that, in turn, “generate ideas that lead to other ideas, and so on.”


Barboza comments on the strategies used in mail art and points out that participating artists are not necessarily native to the country from which they mailed their work. He also notes that artists include their address on their works of art. 


The Buzón de Arte is a valuable document that reports on the globalization and communication of art on the threshold of the digital age.  


[For additional information on this subject, see in the ICAA digital archive the editorial written by Barboza published in the 1st issue of Buzón de Arte/Arte de Buzón (Caracas, January, 1976) (doc. no. 1154618). As regards articles published in the 1st issue of the magazine, see the essay by Edgardo Antonio Vigo and Horacio Zabala “Arte-correo una nueva forma de expresión” (doc. no. 1154763); and the review by Diego Barboza “La caja del cachicamo” (doc. no. 1154747). See also, from the 2nd issue of the magazine by Vigo “Arte-correo: una nueva etapa en el proceso revolucionario de la creación” (doc. no. 1102031)].

María Elena Huizi
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.