The Postage Stamps of Donald Evans
October 28, 2002 1:04 AM   Subscribe

The Postage Stamps of Donald Evans (scroll down a paragraph or two) A rich and complex internal world expressed through postage stamp art.
'When Donald Evans (born Morristown, New Jersey USA in 1945) was a boy, he drifted from his hobby of collecting postage stamps to creating his own postage stamps of countries he made up in his imagination ... He left behind an astonishing planet seen through its nations' postage stamps, thousands of them, all drawn to postage-stamp size, with all the familiar periphery of postage stamps hand-done ... '
posted by plep (18 comments total)
More Donald Evans.
posted by plep at 1:08 AM on October 28, 2002

Amazing! There's something deeply self-centred and world-ordering about his work - and yet it's compulsive to look at and even charming. Cheers, plep!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:17 AM on October 28, 2002

These are wonderful. Judging by the number of pages dedicated to it, the concept of stamp art seems to be immensely engaging to many of us - perhaps it's man's fascination with the miniature combined with the mystique of a travelling, public art form. Just for fun, here are a couple of interesting themed stamp-art sites I've stumbled across recently: Alphbetilately and Philip Burns' Cryptozoology and Philately pages.
posted by taz at 2:44 AM on October 28, 2002

Evans drifted to Europe and eventually settled in a windmill near Amsterdam.

His creation of imaginary stamps (and lands) calls to mind the work of Joseph Cornell, who obsessed artistically about Europe, a land he would never visit. Nice post!
posted by hama7 at 2:54 AM on October 28, 2002

I gotta get me some Marx and Lennon (the true fathers of communism!) stamps.
posted by PenDevil at 3:23 AM on October 28, 2002

Marvelous post. And thanks. It brought back fond memories of my granddad who passed away some 20 years ago. He loved collecting stamps which he would put in small boxes instead of albums. In fact, my first geography lesson was through the stamps he collected from many parts of the world.
posted by taratan at 3:26 AM on October 28, 2002

This reminds me of the site (Mefi post, I think, can't find the link at the moment) by the guy who colllects anti-US war stamps.
posted by troutfishing at 3:38 AM on October 28, 2002

Bruce Chatwin, another life-long prose miniaturist, reviewed the first edition of the Eisenhart book in "The Album of Donald Evans." The essay is available for pay from the New York Review of Books (where it first appeared) but it's also (if I remember right) in Chatwin's book What am I doing here.

Yet another miniaturist, even stranger than Evans, perhaps, is Luigi Serafini. Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus is a pictorial encyclopedia of his own bizzare imaginary world, written entirely in an imaginary language.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:43 AM on October 28, 2002

JSG boggs draws his own money! but not without controversy :D
posted by kliuless at 5:57 AM on October 28, 2002

Yes, kliuless. J.S.G. Boggs is on about the same level as Donald Evans, although with a slightly different bent to his work. It seems more self-conscious -- not quite as innocent.

That being said, i wouldn't hesitat e for a second to accept a Boggs-produced bill as payment for anything. Fascinating!c
posted by ScottUltra at 6:40 AM on October 28, 2002

Great post. plep! And for all the amateur doodlers out there who might like to turn stamp sketches to the real thing, here's how the U. S. Post Office selects its subject matter - if you are a designer who'd like an assignment to design a stamp, write for the brochure.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:59 AM on October 28, 2002

Very cool. As a lifelong addict of obsessive mental constructs (constructed languages, imaginary worlds and mythologies, fabricated secret societies a la the Anta and Foucault's Pendulum, micropatrology, etc.), I love this stuff.

Evans particularly hated The World for its absence of dirigibles.

Who can blame him?
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:06 AM on October 28, 2002

I just wish our stamps were this beautiful... US stamps are just so damn ugly.
posted by silusGROK at 9:15 AM on October 28, 2002

And of course there are the wonderful imagined stamps (and stationery, and countries...) of Nick Bantock. And then there's the Republic of Lomar...
posted by languagehat at 11:36 AM on October 28, 2002

Don't Ever Antagonize The Horn
posted by Dean King at 12:38 PM on October 28, 2002

feh. nothing beats last year's official canada post stamp of my kitten zasu.
posted by t r a c y at 6:04 AM on October 29, 2002

Make your own.
posted by Kikkoman at 6:48 AM on October 29, 2002

Hey, I think the recently issued U.S. bat stamps are pretty.
posted by hattifattener at 7:39 PM on October 29, 2002

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