Saturday, December 26, 2009

PEACE 2009

Two artistamps close 2009 with the theme of Peace. The stamp in the horizontal format is an update of a typographic design created in 2006. It shares the background color and Cascadia Artpost font with a second stamp in vertical format portraying the sockmonkey LoJack, dressed in a tunic decorated with peace emblems. Sockmonkeys are a popular folk art in parts of the United States that dates from the 1930's, made from socks stuffed in the image of a monkey. The most common sock is the red-heeled "Rockford" work sock manufactured by Fox River Mills (which bought out the former manufacturer, the Nelson Knitting Company) in Rockford, Illinois. The red heel gives the sockmonkey its distinctive red lips.


The first black-and-white FluXus artistamp originated from a design by Wolfgang Feelisch in 1974 that was used by Ken Friedman in mail art exchanges, according to Chuck Welch's Eternal Network, A Mail Art Anthology (University of Calgary Press, 1995). The logo was quickly adapted and spread in the mail art network. Friedman used Feelisch's design along with an emblem for Fluxus Zone West by Joseph Beuys in a 1974 artistamp commemorative, and both designs were later copied for a Fluxus Postal Kit.

In this tradition, Cascadia Artpost produced its Fluxus Seattle artistamp in November 2009. Also designed and printed was a similar Fluxus Bellingham stamp for Rudi Rubberoid in Bellingham, Washington to facilitate exchanges in the Cascadia network.

Both the 1974 Fluxus West stamp and the Fluxus Seattle stamp are illustrated above.