Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stamp of approval

For an artist who did so much to promote the British postal service it took a long time for Len Lye to get his own stamp but it has finally happened. Oddly, given the graphic nature of Lye’s work and the energy that has gone into promoting him in NZ, it’s not NZ that came up with the idea but the UK. There have been some New Zealand artists honored stamp-wise but the only ones we can think of off-hand are Rita Angus and Colin McCahon. Of course artists like Eileen Mayo, Mervyn Taylor and Leonard Mitchell designed many of our most well known stamps butt that’s a whole other thing. What distinguishes Lye in the stamp stakes is that even though he was not a painter he still got a stamp. Yes, painting rules in most countries although why we can feature 3D images of a rugby cup on a stamp and not have a go at a 3D art work is anyone’s guess #ingenuous.

(Another New Zealand-born artist whose work has been featured on a UK stamp is Ray Ching. His image of a black finch and a limestone fossil of Archaeopteryx, illustrating 'Darwin's theory', was included (26p) in the Royal Mail Millennium Stamps issue of 1999) - Thanks R

Images: Top to bottom, left to right, Len Lye 2014, Rita Angus 1983, Colin McCahon 1997 (you can buy a set here), Georgia O’Keefe 1996, Andy Warhol 2002 and Robert Indiana 1973