Wednesday, May 03, 2006

So I bought Some Art

Yeah I bought some art at the Birdhouse Museum Art on Cardboard Exhibit but it's not made out of cardboard. It's a sheet of stamps by Michael Hernandez de Luna. I was a little hesitant to purchase stamps at a cardboard show but it suddenly made a lot of sense to me, the Cardboard Art Exhibit itself being begotten of Correspondence Art. Hernandez's stamps appear to be official post and people have been known to use them as postage. When Hernandez showed his work post postage-cancellation. That apparently changed when he was investigated by the Feds in 2002 for mailing a letter with his own artwork, a skull and crossbones stamp with the word "Anthrax" across it. This prank shut down the entire Chicago Loop post office for a day and has Michael watched pretty closely these days by government organizations with pleasant names like the Secret Service Agency. Maybe that's why M was selling his work out of a manilla folder and speaking only in whispers the other night.
Or maybe he was just trying not to steal the limelight from the cardboard artists, one of whom is his sixteen year old daughter (not by birth). Not that Olivia Ortega needed to worry about that, she sold nearly all her pieces.
The stamps I bought depict the Chicago White Sox in celebration of last year's World Series victory. It seems unlikely that the Chicago White Sox would actually appear on a US stamp, something about their shady past, their black and white outfits, the Chicago Southside just doesn't seem to play well nationally. That's one reason I like the piece. It's also curious because for many people anything baseball is collectible. But is Hernandez's piece collectible for that reason? It's not official as a stamp or as a baseball trinket. For some of course it is collectible as art.

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