Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Forty-four cent collectible art
I've really been enjoying the new abstract expressionist stamps from the USPS. As soon as I saw them I stocked up and bought several sheets, and I've been gradually parcelling them out. I'll probably save a few just to look at. Not only do they liven up any envelope, they help spread the gospel of creativity.
Wouldn't you rather find one of these on a letter than another flag in the corner you've seen a million times?
The post office has also done stamps featuring photographers/ photography. Recent posts on PhotoEphemera show many examples. Generally I find these stamps less exciting. Maybe it's because they are black and white? Or maybe it's because they tend to focus on the photographer rather than an specific photographs? I don't know what it is exactly but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a sheet of them, even the Winogrand one.
On the envelope these photographer stamps wait patiently on the corner like a fly-on-the-wall street shooter. If you're not already a photographer, chances are you'd hardly notice.
But the new abstract expressionist stamps just nail it. The sizes vary from large to way big. The colors are bold and eye catching. If I were an average person checking my mailbox, I'd feel like I just walked into a Chelsea gallery. "What the heck is that giant splotch in the corner?!"
Good wake up call, USPS. Now do the same for photography.