Hate Mail to Art

Meet Mr. Bingo, an artist who specializes in masterfully illustrated insults.

Hate mail is mean.

It’s not a radical thought, particularly for those of us who spend much of our time writing on the Internet, and as a result, reading comments about our ass-hattedness on said Internet. Digital hate mail is so mean.

But, hate mail can be funny too. You know, if you can separate the humor from the personal attack. “Dear Laura, you look like Gaddafi in a wig.” Sorry Laura, but that’s funny. “Dear Mark, F–k you and f–k your cat.” Yeah, f–k that cat! “Dear Matt, you are a loser and you have back fat.” Back fat. LOL.

These particular quips comes courtesy of Mr. Bingo, a UK-based artist who specializes in the pithy art of hate mail. He emblazons the seething quotes on old postcards, adding quirky illustrations to hammer his points home. There’s a portrait to prove Laura does indeed look like Gaddafi in a wig. Mark’s cat is shocked at the profanity of it all. Matt’s back fat is so real.

Now, Laura, Mark and Matt are actually in on the hate jokes. This is Mr. Bingo’s schtick. He doesn’t just beam out unsolicited hatred; he only sends his masterfully crafted insults to interested parties, who contact the artist on his website and receive a delightfully rude bit of art in return.

It all started in 2011 when Mr. Bingo, drunk, tweeted out the following: “I will send an offensive postcard to the first person to reply to this message.” Nine hundred and twenty eight illustrations later and that one tweet has turned into an entire series, dubbed “Hate Mail,” that has — as we’ve said before — become the vitriolic version of Dial-A-Poem.

“Nothing inspires [the series] really,” Mr. Bingo told us in a previous interview. “I just think of really awful things you could say to people, maybe it’s something about their appearance, or their lifestyle or possibly something a lot darker or thought-provoking, or something that might force them to reconsider their whole existence.” He added that he feels like a naughty schoolboy, giving humans around the world what they apparently desire: tickishly biting libel.

“A lot of people assume that most humans are quite serious, but this project proves that grown up people actually really like to be silly,” he noted. “It’s comedy, really. People like comedy because it can be absurd and ridiculous and it can take your mind away from everyday life, which can be quite dull to many people. It’s fun and it’s escapism and everybody needs these things.”

Mr. Bingo is currently in the throes of a Kickstarter campaign, aiming to turn his postcard service into a book. “Essentially, it’ll look like a pretentious art book but without the pretentious price tag,” he writes online.

The rest of the campaign is as irreverent as the art its advertising. Rewards for pledging support to Hate Mail: The Definitive Collection include “the f–king book,” getting “told to f–k off on the Internet,” and a slew of IRL favors including a date with Mr. Bingo, a drunken train ride with Mr. Bingo, the opportunity to have Mr. Bingo do your dishes, a 46-minute lecture by Mr. Bingo (including a bit on “How to make a rap video”), and friendship.

Head over to the Kickstarter if you so wish. Otherwise, check out more of Mr. Bingo’s genius here.

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