Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mail art

I have always been fascinated by mail art. Mail art, or postal art, is an art that uses the postal system as a medium. I’ve had the opportunity to see several exhibitions of mail arts and I have always been amazed by the imagination of the postal artists. Unfortunately I have never been able to produce some postal art myself (I’m not an artists…) and so far I never got the chance to receive some neither. Until recent days. Following the portrait that Timbres Magazine has published about me, I was contacted by a postal artist, Philippe, who has nicely sent me two pieces that he has designed just for me, around my interest for the frogs. But first, if you want to see more of the work from Philippe you can visit his website.

So Philippe sent me to decorated covers, with a humoristic twist in both of them. Here is the first one.

The stamp used for this drawing is a part of the famous people set issued on the 23rd of February 1987 and pictures Jean Rostand. Here is a picture of the original stamp (picture is coming from PHILA ECHANGE website)

Jean Rostand (1894 - 1977) was a French biologist and philosopher. He became famous for his work as a science writer, as well as a philosopher. His scientific work covered a variety of biological fields such as amphibian embryology while his literary output extended into popular science, history of science and philosophy. He was the son of playwright Edmond Rostand and the brother of novelist and playwright Maurice Rostand. Following the footsteps of his father, Rostand was elected to the prestigious French Academy in 1959.
As Jean Rostand has studied deeply the biology of the amphibians (and therefore of the frogs and toads) he must have spent a lot of time studying them through a microscope. Here, the drawing of Philippe shows a human looking frog, studying Jean Rostand through the microscope! A funny idea.

I know that this cover may shock a lot of philatelists because the stamp has been cut to fit into the design, which could be seen as a crime for stamp collectors. But this is for the purpose of art.

The second one has a different inspiration.

It uses a stamp recently issued (on the 22th of June 2009) and belonging to the Nature series. The full set contains four stamps and also a souvenir sheet, and is dedicated to extinct or endangered animals. Here is the souvenir sheet.

The stamps picture three endangered animals, the Rhinoceros, the California condor and the Giant Panda and one extinct animal, the Aurochs.
Philippe used the Rhinoceros stamp and integrated it into the design of a Genetically Modified Organism (in French OGM as mentioned in the text of the address) mixing the head of the Rhinoceros and the body of a frog. A frightening creature, isn’t it?

Did you ever receive mail art? Or do you produce mail art on your side? I would be happy to hear from you.

1 comment:

Gulfmann said...

Happy Bastille Day !!