In the mailbag a postal extravaganza

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There’s an axis of postal art running between Philadelphia, Paris and Brooklyn that I have to tell you about. First off, the great, rambunctious stamp art exhibit “Axis of Evil” is at Nexus right now. Organized by Chicago artist Michael Hernandez de Luna, a long-time stamp art practitioner, the exhibit (Libby told you about it here) is chock full of terrific micro-designs by a group of international artists. The works pack a political wallop and many have a wicked sense of humor both of which make it a satisfying and subversive show. (HdL was in the “Illegal Art” show at Nexus a few years back by the way, speaking of subversive.) The artist told me that he sends his stamps sailing through the mail and that it works, the USPS accepts them as stamps, a minor, but thrilling subversion. (image is Hernandez de Luna’s Monica Lewinsky stamp. And here’s a review of a show of stamp art by HdL and Michael Thompson at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative a while back.)

There’s a full color catalog for the travelling exhibit and you can browse it online here.

And in some kind of aeropostale voodoo, Matthew Rose, an American artist, writer and editor for art-the magazine living in Paris who stumbled onto Artblog a week ago and liked us well enough to get us linked on his publication’s front page, is a sometime stamp artist, and his stamp, “Rien” (shown) is in the Axis of Evil show.

Rose, who is a big HdL fan, wrote about the artist’s Anthrax stamp in Art & Antiques (October 2001). Apparently there are art stamp fanatics in France like Michel Hosszu who runs a site where you can order stamps based on your own images. Rose is chasing some stamp art he found on Paris Craig’s list at the moment. (Who even knew there was a Paris Craig’s list?) Anyway, see more of Rose’s nice, surreal, cartoon-influenced paintings and collages at his website.

(image above right is stamp art by Natalie Lamanova and below is by the late Ed Paschke, both pieces in the Axis of Evil exhibit.)

And in case you’re looking for some piece of mail to affix the stamps to, here’s the perfect object, a lenticular postcard called “Greetings from America” by Brooklyn artist and blogger James Leonard.

“Greetings from America” shows two views of the red state/blue state America we are sick to death of hearing about. Tilted one way, the card reveals a red state bias. From another angle, a blue-biased view appears. The back of the postcard has deadpan copy describing four natural and architectural wonders found within the United States. See the card at the interactive site, at which you can mouse over the card and it lenticulates for you! (card below, red state to the right, blue state to the left, ahem)

Leonard does distrubtional art (I guess that’s a cousin of Libby’s and my giveaway art projects).

He drops his postcards into card shops and other unsuspecting places and then wait and see what happens when people try to buy them. (Philadelphians with long memories may recall the Heretical Society distributing its non-standard bookmarks in a similar fashion here.)

The card’s wholesale price is $1.50 apiece or $1.25 for orders of more than 100. Email Leonard jamesleonard@jamesleonard.org to order some.

We’ve known about Leonard for a while. He discovered artblog and wrote us and we discovered his great art at his website which is chock full of video art and other projects. I highly recommend the videos which I browsed like a kid in a candy shop. There’s one, “Strawberry Lemondade,” with a slow motion ball and jacks game that is a Zen doozie. Highly recommended.

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