Artist John Zabawa’s “TELEGRAMS” Project Rekindles a Cherished Form of Connection

A request for letters from strangers, fans and friends—the promise of a response

Los Angeles-based artist John Zabawa (who has worked with Aesop, Ace Hotel and others, and was shown in a solo exhibition in Chicago in 2018 titled So Many People) announced his newest project, TELEGRAMS, with a letter crafted on a typewriter, marked with redactions and imperfections. He took to Instagram, posted a photo of the letter and left it with a simple caption: “PSA” followed by …

The Tangled History of the Letter X

As porn consumption reaches what may be an all-time peak, MEL Magazine writer Chris Bourn wondered “How did X become the edgiest letter?” The 24th letter in our alphabet is the second-least used, but has come to represent all things “adult” and is intrinsically connected to porn. This can be traced back to the introduction of 1968’s audience-advisory ratings, which attributed X to movies with …

Letters of Note

Correspondence across the ages that reveal the personal side of public figures and humanize great events

Not so long ago—in the age before Twitter, email and Facebook—people wrote out their feelings, gripes, grievances and praise on hotel notepads, scraps of paper and personal stationary, and then mailed them. While some might argue that the art of correspondence died with the advent of the internet, it was Letters of Note—a popular website sharing correspondence across history and spheres—that paved the way for …