Anna Banana has been active in the international mail-art network since 1971, when her newsletter, the Banana Rag, connected her with networking artists. She received a copy the Image Bank Request List from Art Rat and Mr. Peanut, sent out envelopes of the requested images, along with copies of the Banana Rag, and requested, in return, any and all visual and verbal material relating to bananas. To her amazement, her mail-box filled up, and she was immediately smitten with the mail-art process. Through the Request List, she met in person, Ken Friedman, Michael Morris, Vincent Trasov, Gary Lee Nova, Dana Atchley, Eric Metcalfe, Kate Craig, Glenn Lewis in Vancouver, and through the mail, General Idea, the editors of FILE Magazine, along with other early networkers in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.
In 1973 she moved to San Francisco where she found collaborators in mail-artists such as Patricia Tavenner, Irene Dogmatic, Opal Nations, Monty Cazazza, Ron Illardo and Bay Area Dadaists Gaglione, Mancusi and Chickadel. In 1974 she publisher her first issue of VILE Magazine, with Monty Cazazza on the cover, to reflect and document the activities of the mail-art network.
Complete collections of Banana's early publications are now located in both Yale and Harvard Universities’ Fine Arts Libraries, and in the Artists’ Publications section of the Weserburg Museum in Bremen, Germany. You can review the listing of (and sample images from) Banana’s early publications by clicking on the titles in the left-hand panel. Publications still available for purchase are noted.