November 28th, 2007 – by: boxinbcn
Postage Stamps are another kind of traveller, bearers of tidings from one country to the next, making their way across towns, states, countries and international borders, while carrying a small sample of the sender’s culture, heritage, political system or current events. The use of the postage stamp as a miniature work of art in itself is relatively recent.
One artist who made a notable contribution to this was Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian architect, graphic artist and painter.
While at the exposition dedicated to him at the Szépművészeti Múzeum in Budapest I was able to read his reflections on the postage stamp which I found entertaining reading. As I wrote in my entry about the first day in Budapest and my visit to the Fine Arts Museum, the name of the exhibition, “A Magical Eccentric…” is appropriate! I copied it into my journal and am posting it here as well. I dedicate it to a different type of traveller, the postage stamp…
“A postage stamp is an important matter. Though it is very small and tiny in size, it bears a decisive message. Postage stamps are the measure of the cultural standing of a country. The tiny square connects the hearts of the sender and the receiver, reducing distances. It is a bridge between people and countries.
"The postage stamp passes all frontiers.
It reaches men in prisons, asylums and hospitals. Stamps should be the ambassadors of art and life and not be just soulless receipts of paid postage money. A postage stamp must meet its destiny. Postage stamps must return to their purpose that is to serve on letters. A true postage stamp must feel the tongue of the sender wetting the glue and be stuck on the envelope. A postage stamp must experience the dark insides of a mailbox. A postage stamp must suffer the rubber stamp of the post office. A postage stamp must travel in company with other letters in mail sacks by ship, by air, by road. A postage stamp must feel the hand of the mailman delivering the letter to the receiver. A postage stamp that has not been posted is no postage stamp. It has never lived, it is a fake. It is a fish that never swam, like a bird that never flew; a postage stamp must have lived as a postage stamp…”