Colombia-based artist Diana Beltran Herrera (previously here and here) has been fascinated by birds since she was a child, however it wasn’t until four years ago that she started working with their forms. Her incredibly lifelike depictions are built entirely out of cut paper and imitate a variety of bird species from all over the world. Each iteration of her work we have followed with intrigue, including one of her latest projects which incorporates her sculptural pieces into oversized postage stamps from countries which she has always admired.
“I always felt inspired by postage stamps as they are little windows of the world,” said Herrera to Colossal, “specifically those that contain birds which are often traveling around the word. I have collected a few and I felt that I wanted to open those stamps to a much more realistic scale to learn more about that particular animal and its landscape.”
Interested in wildlife far beyond its aesthetics, Herrera is also concerned with the ethical treatment of animals, especially when it comes to the illegal wildlife trade of birds happening in her country and abroad. You can see more of her paper sculptures of birds, fruits, and flowers on her Instagram and Facebook.
I can’t remember the last time I saw the actual use of a rubber date stamp, most libraries exchanged them for fancy barcodes and other digital systems a decade ago. But Italian artist Federico Pietrella (previously) who lives and works in Berlin has a fantastic use for them in his paintings made from thousands of densely stamped ink dates. In his enormous ink artworks Pietrella always stamps the current date, thus each of his pieces contains a clear timeline of the days he worked on it, often spanning two months. You can see much more on his website and watch a brief interview with artist courtesy of Deutsche Welle. (via visual news)
New York-based artist Molly Rausch paints the extended scenes around the edges of postage stamps, imagining the continued horizons and broader stories told by stamp artwork. Via her website:
Each stamp painting begins with an actual postage stamp that is glued down to the paper. Then Rausch paints around the stamp, extending the scene, with watercolor and gouache. As a result, the paintings are quite small – usually around 3 inches tall. Everything is done freehand with a brush; she does not use pens or pencils. She does not paint on the stamp itself. And she does not research the subject, so the extension is completely invented and should not be tested for accuracy.
It’s fun to think how many stories a single postage stamp has, the story of the image printed on it, the story of its physical journey through the postal system, and now a third story told though Rausch’s brush strokes. You can see a gallery of many more via her website. Thanks Molly for sharing your work with Colossal.
Artist Federico Pietrella was born in Rome and now lives and works in Berlin. He creates art using a number of different methods involving resins, flashlights, photocopies, and other found objects, but most striking to me are these lovely paintings made with rubber date stamps. Pietrella opens a exhibition starting this weekend at Galleria Civica G. Segantini in Arco, Italy.
For the past several years Chicagoans have been following the debacle of the Chicago Spire, a 150-floor spiraling skyscraper designed by Santiago Calatrava that would have towered above every other building in the Western Hemisphere. Though due to mismanaged finances, an awful housing market, and the overall impact of the 2008 financial crisis the spire was never meant to be and all we got was a glorious 76-foot-deep hole (previously).
Recognizing this global trend of failed/experimental/never-to-be-built architecture, the Netherlands Institute of Architecture has teamed up with the Dutch postal service (TNT Post) to honor these architects and their unrealized designs in an incredible sheet of stamps. But these aren’t your normal postage stamps. Each is printed with a unique QR-code that when placed in front of a webcam erect 3D buildings in the palm of your hand. Via Aaron Betsky:
The postage-stamp-size exhibit consists of five buildings. As a bonus, if you hold up a whole sheet to the camera, you see an image of the NAI itself. Moreover, the stamps are paired with an Augmented Reality App called UAR (Urban Augmented Reality) that lets you place this and other unbuilt structures in meatspace by holding your iPhone up to the site.
I’m not a huge fan of QR codes and in fact I don’t think I’ve ever used one, however this strikes me as a pretty amazing idea. Head on over to the project site here but you’ll need some postage stamps in-hand to make everything work. Any Dutch Colossal readers wanna help a blogger out? (via notcot)
This half postage stamp from 1872 was sold at auction in Bietigheim-Bissingen, south Germany for $347,500 yesterday. Why so much for a postmarked, incomplete stamp? An auction house spokesman explains:
“Stamps were in short supply in Syke between 1872 and 1874 so it was decided that they should be cut in half as a makeshift solution,” she said. “But because this was only done for a short period, very few letters actually bear these halved stamps.”
The Syke bisect is both official and extremely rare. Only 3 of them are known to exist today, and this particular one is famous in its own right because it was on the cover of the definitive book on the Syke bisects written by the felicitously named Rolf Rohlfs in 1982. Two bidders, one from north Germany, one from the south, went head to head for this special half stamp. The north German collector won.
Also at auction this month, an extremely rare copy of Detective Comics No. 27 that featured the debut of “The Batman.” The comic book was purchased by an 84-year-old California man for only a dime when he was a teenager. Final bid? $492,937. (via the history blog)