mail art
June 19, 2003 5:29 AM   Subscribe

The stamps of Michael Hernandez de Luna and Michael Thompson have been called provocative, tongue-in-cheek, mischievous, beautiful, and/or tasteless. All have made their way through the US postal system. Work alert: I see naked people.
posted by iconomy (14 comments total)
Fab - thanks. :)

(You may like the Electronic Museum of Mail Art).
posted by plep at 5:46 AM on June 19, 2003

... and the Duck Stamp.
posted by plep at 5:47 AM on June 19, 2003

Witty, fun, quirky, cool and wonderful: the iconomy trademarks! This stuff is great. I laugh thinking about the postal worker reactions.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:49 AM on June 19, 2003

Super, iconomy - thanks! Your posts truly add to our experience. Everything is bright and new thanks to you.

Of course, once we've taken them in, we wonder how we were able to live without them.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:30 AM on June 19, 2003

But, debralee, those are real postal stamps; the stamps in iconomy's post are artistamps, another ball of wax entirely. :) They aren't authorized by any postal organization. The rare stamps on your link are neat, though. I really love the look of old postage stamps.
posted by litlnemo at 7:02 AM on June 19, 2003

Damn, National Group Sex Day [ NSFW ] was just a couple days ago. And I missed it again.
posted by cip at 7:05 AM on June 19, 2003

Once again, iconomy... Wow.

It boggles the mind that all these got canceled and delivered by the postal service. So if we want to save money on postage, all we have to do is reproduce multiple images with a clever design? And don't get me wrong, these are almost without exception very clever designs.

Was I the only one who thought of this when viewing the Woman In Five Parts sheet?
posted by soyjoy at 7:42 AM on June 19, 2003

P.S. to other people at work: Unless you're sitting within a couple inches of your co-workers, you should have no problem with these on your screen. Go ahead and click.
posted by soyjoy at 7:44 AM on June 19, 2003

...the stamps in iconomy's post are artistamps, another ball of wax entirely.

Yes, I did catch that, litlnemo. I linked to that collection because I felt it was interesting how some real stamps are valued much like art pieces being auctioned off for great sums of money. I wonder if the two Michaels' work will ever fall into this realm?
posted by debralee at 8:56 AM on June 19, 2003

Was I the only one who thought of this when viewing the Woman In Five Parts sheet?

Why yes, yes you were. Everyone else, all 17,000 + of us, thought of exquisite corpses ;)

Michael and Michael state several times in the review section that they rely on disgruntled postal workers and their general "disgruntledness" to ignore the obvious illegality of the stamps and cancel them anyway. There's also one more book that bad press sells - Sextablos. That link leads to a gallery of examples from the book - some are quite nice. If the title of the book is not an indication, it's about sex.

Here's another art stamp goodie: plep's post, a MetaFilter classic and personal favorite, about Donald Evans and his art stamps.
posted by iconomy at 9:02 AM on June 19, 2003

I saw their show in Chicago a year ago....Great to see this artwork framed and on the wall, and some of it even selling.

They did fill me in on current legal proceedings being brought against them for fraud. Don't know the latest, but I just hope the Postmaster General can make a distinction between fraud and art.

De Luna gave me one of these, and I have been tempted to send it to a friend in London and have him try sending it through the post...but I can't quite bring myself to risk parting with it.
posted by mapalm at 11:12 AM on June 19, 2003

[this is good]
posted by dg at 3:07 PM on June 19, 2003

The "naked-people" ones (esp. Catherine the Great!) are a little surprising, but overall, looking at some of the more unusual official stamps that have been issued, it is easy to understand how a lot of these would be accepted at "face value", especially when they are coming from another country. Look at this "Choco Suisse" (in smell-o-vision! - middle of the page), for example, and these odd cuts. Some more artstamp-like real stamps include Tupilaks, Faroe Island kids, something Munchy, and the strongest girl in the world!

Actually, iconomy, if I had the BI-athelete stamp featured on the "erotic draftsman's" artstamp page, I would try sending it from Greece, proud home of the 2004 Olympics. I bet you a chili-mac it would sail right by even the Greek postal workers!

Oh, and then there's the official Canuck do-it-yourself pack. What the poor post office to do?
posted by taz at 9:13 AM on June 20, 2003

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