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Description

I call myself a 'Stamp Artist'.

What, you might well ask, is a 'Stamp Artist'? Well, I'm not an artist who designs postal (or any other sort of) stamps. Rather, I use postage stamps in creating works of art.

There are two ways I which I do this. First, I compose an entire piece made up of stamps, and call this Stamp Art. Second, I add stamps to other images in a Collage or Assemblage.

Why? Well, I see postage stamps as much more than little pieces of coloured and gummed paper that are to be stuck on envelopes, parcels, etc. I consider them to be miniature works of art, each design different, each telling a separate story, each trying to convey a particular message.

A sheet or a block of stamps is, to me, a thing of beauty in its repetitive nature, in the way that it multiplies an image seemingly ad infinitum.

Colourful collections and assemblages of stamps are, again to me, a form of vibrant Pop Art.

They are, in their own very small and simple way, similar to Andy Warhol's large-scale works, such as Campbell's Soup Cans, Brillo Soap Pad boxes, and the 'Matinee Idols' series of compositions of Elvis, Troy Donahue, Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor and others.

I use multiple examples of a single stamp - such as the 'Machin' head of Queen Elizabeth 11 that has appeared on over 200 billion UK postage stamps since its introduction in 1967, and is now an iconic image of modern Britain - in the same sort of way as Warhol used multiple images of Pepsi and Coke bottles, coffee tins, hibiscus flowers, and Polaroid photos and silk-screen printings.

Much of my work features definitive stamps (such as the 'Machin' head, or its French contemporary equivalent the 'Marianne' head), but when I can find a suitable commemorative example, I add a stamp (or two, or three...) to a collage that has a thematic focus on, for example, the Beatles, tulips, or Locomotion No 1. Here I am following the tradition of another seminal Pop Artist, Sir Peter Blake, who incorporated multiple images of Elvis, Cliff Richard, Marilyn and others in his collage paintings. But instead of using photos or paintings I use postage stamps.


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