Saturday, 20 April 2013

Stamps of Famous Artists

Back in July, I talked about the fleshy paintings of Jenny Savile and Chaim Soutine.

In my blog here I talked about dirt-poor, angry-young-man-about-post-World-War-One-Paris Mr Soutine, and his modus operandi of painting an animal carcass that he'd bought from the slaughterhouse.  His neighbours objected to the long drawn-out painting process when the blood that he was throwing over the carcass in his studio to keep it looking fresh dripped through their ceilings.

Here's Soutine, painting in 1916 by his friend, Modigliani.

Canny American art collector Dr Albert C Barnes bought 52 of Soutine's work in a bargain-basement career-making job lot, paying the penniless artist in cash between $15-30 per painting (depending on which one of Barne's letters you believe).   

Barnes, knowing full well that he was creating a market in an artist, was now sitting on a small fortune, with keen interest from dealers.  Soutine on the other hand, grabbed the money, ran into the street, hailed a taxi, and drove 200 miles to the South of France.

Barnes was a clever businessman and a chemist, and having made his fortune from a highly successful drug formula, was similarly looking for the formula for a successful artist as an investment.  In his letters, Barnes often asked about the constituents of the perfect piece of art, as if art could similarly be reduced to a formula. Obviously he thought he'd found it with Soutine and his eviscerated carcasses.  And it looks like he was right.

In February 2006, an oil painting from this series 'Le Boeuf Écorché' (1924) sold for a record £7.8 million ($13.8 million) at Christies in London.  Now it's available on a stamp.

Perhaps not something you'd like to lick the back of. 

Meanwhile, Norway has issued a series of Edvard Munch 150th anniversary stamps.

The USA has just issued a series of stamps showing work by Modern Masters.

 Whilst Canada is expressing its deep cultural heritage by putting Rush on its stamps.

So which cultural icon would you put on a stamp?

1 comment:

  1. Presently, the term artist typically identifies anybody who's involved in just about any task that's regarded to be an art. But, the issues of what's artwork and who's an artist are maybe not simply answered. The thought of defining artwork nowadays is much harder than it's actually been. Following the exhibition through the Place Artwork motion of Andy Warhol's “Brillo Boxes” and "Campbells'Soup Drinks," the issues of "what's artwork? " and "who's an contemporary artists? " joined a far more conceptual sphere.Such a thing may in reality be artwork, and the word stays continually evolving.