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.


wolf said...

Are you freakin' kidding me? A garry winogrand stamp? that's huge! I was fairly shocked when I saw the photography stamps a few years ago, and I bought them right away. Until then I would have only expected to see an ansel adams stamp, but I realized that day that photography had hit the big time for sure.

Unknown said...

please, please send me a post card with the Clifford Still stamp... wow he's the business! you'll have to put it in an envolope as I live in UK and send it that way so the stamp isn't ruined!! they're beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

That Motherwell image is said to influenced by an Aaaron Siskind photo of rocks.

great set of stamps!

Blake Andrews said...

I do like the Winogrand stamp and I think it's a pretty provocative choice from all his images. It's just that compared to the painting stamps it seems rather plain. Maybe this is a microcosm of the real world and reflects general attitudes toward photography? People get more excited by 8 foot color splashes than 8" silver gelatin prints? I guess in this case I'm guilty.

bastinptc said...

I'm with you. I live in a podunk 60 miles north of you. Not much culcha here (some, just not much). But walking into the PO and seeing those stamps made my month.