Snail's Postcard Post

Seeing Words



Made by my friend Alex in a printing class when she was nine years old. Each child contributed a personal phrase or budding slang word, a definition, and used it in a sentence. Then they worked to print each other’s pieces. In the end, each student received one of each card, making a collection, as well as a stack of cards with the text they personally devised. This was Alex’s personal piece, devoted to her dog Sadie’s nickname.

Reproduction of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 billboards and posters that shouted this slogan in eleven major cities internationally. The originals, of course, said, “Happy Christmas from John & Yoko” at the bottom. (The song Happy Xmas (War is Over) was not released until 1971, so it was not a campaign to sell records.) It’s a brilliant design. There are no background distractions; The unusual plainness would have grabbed attention at billboard size among the advertising bombardment in the urban hubs where they were posted. When you first read that all-caps bold text, “War is over!” you go, “It is?” Then there’s the small-print qualifier. “If you want it” ends up saying “The announcement that war was over got you excited didn’t it? So you wish it were true.Well you can make it true.”  

Pop surrealism artist and designer Anthony Ausgang

So clever! To be honest, this is a business card. I’ve started slipping really nicely designed business cards in my postcard collection. They’re like mini advert postcards, right?

Margi Scharff (RIP 2007) was an artist and a friend; The first person who took me seriously as an artist when I was in my teens. Her life and her art were the same thing! Traveling mostly in Central and Southeast Asia on ten dollars a day with one red suitcase, as she went, she collected paper trash. From the trash, and still afoot and afield, she made small, jewel-like collages. (The pieces had to be miniature so they’d fit in the one red suitcase.) Many of her pieces incorporate text from the wrappers, newspapers, etc. she collected. A place’s trash says so much about the culture, and so, by extension, Margi’s works are specific reflections as well. Upon her passing, many publications paid tribute to her inspiring life–this one gives a good sense of the traveling artist that was Margi Scharff  

The ‘V’ is a pair of pants!  I think it’s brilliant how the sign is in forshortened perspective, nearing profile, but is just frontal enough to be legible. Plus, neon and classic American signage is a whole world of text as visual!

Patricia Chidlaw is one of my favorite artists, by the way. And for more non-photograph postcards of places, check out this post.



This entry was published on October 7, 2012 at 12:48 am. It’s filed under Art and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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