This week’s pick is artist Naoto Hattori’s postcard book “Twisted Surreal”. Twisted Surreal is a limited edition book signed by Hattori that contains 32 postcards of her paintings. It features various paintings from her backlog mostly dated from 2005 to 2009. Overall I really enjoyed the selection of paintings and found they were very cohesive and went together well. The postcards show a variety of her artwork and include most of the major paintings that she is well known for. The postcards are an okay size for mini prints at 4 by 6inches but do have black framing around so the image is a bit smaller than that. They are printed on quality card stock (thinner than my preferred cardstock) and have a shiny texture front and matt back that is good for writing. The postcards feature a generic address and postcard stamp area, but do contain detailed information about the painting like the name, date, original size and material list. As well there is a gas mask detail over the writing area that adds some flare to the otherwise standard back. These postcards are a wonderful way to view her work however they are pretty typical postcards and only worth the purchase if you are not a fan of her work. For more about her artwork, check out her site and for other items beside postcard check out her main shop that features prints, originals and additional items like t-shirts, stickers and more.
a closer look at a few of the postcards:
This week’s pick is the Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda postcard set available through Akatako. This set includes 10 postcards featuring her paintings from 2013 and a personally signed sticker. Shimoda work is inspired by the anime and manga she grew up with and the idea that children are desired by society to save the world. I’m obsessed with her work and love her unique depiction of children and humanity. There is so much expression in her portraits that I couldn’t resist picking up these postcards. The postcards are good quality and have a shiny front and back and come in very minimal packaging (a blue envelope). The paintings featured for the most are not full sized which is a shame and for that reason would likely not be as suitable to be used as mini-prints but I do love that she included the name and medium of each painting and displaying them much like she would in a gallery. Over all I think for the price and considering the rarity of being able to see a piece of her art in person let alone how limited her prints are this is a great way to enjoy her work . If you want to see more of her work, check out her website and Akatako also has originals and limited prints of her work as well. Below I have a closer look at each postcard and the sticker signed by Hikari Shimoda.
This week’s pick is Camilla d’Errico’s self-titled postcard set that contains 30 various prints from her body of work. I know a lot of people seem to look down their nose at d’Errico’s art style but I’ve always had a soft spot for her combinations of cute big eyes girls and animals even if it’s often overplayed in the last 10 years since she started out. There is no denying her bright and colorful paintings are eye catching and make great merchandise and I for one am happy she seems to realize this and sells her work in a variety of products. Her paintings make much better postcards I find and they make for great mini-prints as well. Perfect for sending to friends with its eye catching colors and if your friend has a spirit animal chances are it’s included in the 30 set. There is also a lot of design on writing side of the postcards which I hugely appreciate when artist put the effort into stylizing the postcards to fit their own style. The size is the standard for postcards so they make pretty small prints but still a good gift for anyone who enjoys her work. I would definitely recommend these postcards if you enjoy anime style girl with colorful hair cuddling animals like lions, butterflies and everything in between.
a few of the postcards:
Pick of the Week: The Snow Yak Show
This week’s pick is artist Mark Ryden’s “The Snow Yak Show” postcards. I choose these for this month’s postcard pick because they are wintery and ethereal, not to mention I love Mark Ryden’s corky style. All 17 postcards feature his work from his art show of the same name and are very well made on good cardstock with a glossy front side and a matt finish for the writing side (always appreciated). Each postcard includes the name of the art piece as well as the medium and original size it was created on, as well as his branding on the back. The design is a little sparse with no address lines or a stamp indication (I love postcards where they customize the stamp indicator) but they measure 5 by 7 which means they can make a good mini-print as well. The postcards are dived between his paintings and his graphite drawings but there are some repeats as a few of the larger paintings have a cropped version as well as the full sized. Regardeless of the lack of design on the back and repeat images I love these postcards and have been hording them all to myself for over a year and think they’d be a great whimsical set to pick and send your friends in these chilly months (which I am doing next month). And who doesn’t love yaks?
a look at each postcard:
Pick of the Week: James Jean Postcards
You may have notices Pick of the Week has had monthly postcards picks for the last week months, this month being James Jean’s set called XO. I have such a passion for postcards I really want to share some of my favourites with you. James Jean’s postcards are no exception, they are wonderful and a great way of celebrating and enjoying his art. I adore artist who go out of their way to make their art accessible to everyone and postcards are a really great way of doing that. There is a lot of thought put towards the set XO with the matt sheen and customized back with detailed information about the print that covers the front. The only oversight I have found is the card stock could be much studier. For any artist of his level he doesn’t need to be focusing on having products like this and it’s noticeable as some modern artists are worried about accessibility devaluing their work whether is prints or small end items. There are 30 postcards of his work to enjoy and almost all of his earlier well known work is included. Plus it’s easy to purchasable at various online stores for a very low price. Highly suggest these even if you don’t know him as an artist as these postcards are just unique and exceptional. Below are some shots of XO.
Fresh Fruits by Shoichi Aoki
Fresh Fruits is a collection of postcards compiled from the magazine of the same name by Shoichi Aoki, who also is the sole photographer. Fresh Fruits documents Tokyo street fashion of the late 1990s and early 2000s. There is 45 postcards total included of selected images from the magazine over the years. Tokyo street fashion has long been popular in North America in the kind of voyeuristic way. I’ve been a fan of Fruits fashion since I was in high school myself and grabbed these up to add to my postcard collection. They are very vivid, and are well made postcards with details on the back side about each person and what they are wearing. I find the postcards are a great way to view the fashion of the time, especially since it’s nearly impossible to get the magazine Fresh Fruits here in Canada, and I find the postcard format for me at least works better then the books I’ve seen. The only downside, but also a positive depending on how you look at it, is that there postcards are large format which means they are nearly twice the size of the average 4×6 postcard. Other than that these are delightful and a fun exciting way to look at Tokyo fashion and there is so many difference styles represented and truly you can tell Aoki toke the time to curate what would make it into this set as it is the best of the best. If you’ve ever been curious about Tokyo fashion or love interesting postcards this is great grab and much cheaper than buying one of the many books out there and its straight from one of the best sources of fashion at the time.
Folk Photography: The American Real-Photo Postcard 1905-1930
Folk Photography by Luc Sante is a 160 pages book about his personal collection of real-photo postcards taken in the 1900’s. Luc Sante is a writer and critic from New York area who started collecting real-photo postcards in the 80’s and over the years accumulated around 2500 postcards. The book contains over 100 of postcards that he handpicked to display. He also outlines the history of real-photo postcards and their significance in America’s history as well as his criteria for which postcards he decided to show from his collection. He provides a detailed 37 page intro that for any person curious into the real-photo postcard world will find invaluable and interesting. For others it may appear a little long winded. I personally love the intro as it gives the reader a look into the man, Luc Sante himself as a collector and his mindset with putting together this book. It makes it more personal, and this book being a collection of only his collection of postcards is just that, personal. I think it adds a lot to the book knowing more about Sante as real-photo postcards are very prolific and if you’ve ever looked for them in antique stores you’ll know they come in stacks upon stacks. One thing I really love about the book is that under each postcard there is as much information as possible about the individual postcard, photographer, date, anything writing on the back, and sometimes a description about what the photos is depicting taken from historical information. My favourite photographs in the book are the portraits, as I love old portraits as they are usually quiet strange and creepy. There is a great mixture between rural life, still life, events, portraits, and group shots. The one thing he is really missing is landscapes however he explains in the intro why he made the decision to not include. He has an amazing collection and if you are interested in real-photo postcards or antique postcards or history this book will please you and be a delight to flip through. If you are looking to see professional vintage photography from that time, this book may be a bit of a disappointment as none of them will blow you away and that is understandable as real-photo postcards were treated much like we use Instagram today. The book very niche but seeing as there are not many books documenting this hobby it’s an interesting one to have on your shelf.
Another round of my 365 challenge for April! Its my first full month and I’m really loving it. There is a lot of cat photos getting in there but I cannot resist. I’ve started taking so many photos on a daily basis its great. It is so much fun going through them deciding which one will make it (I do put two up on occasion). If you want to see them daily, subscribe to my tumblr for the project as I put up each photo on the day I toke it. Like I did last month, I’ll share my favourite 5 with the gallery below of all the photos.
33/365 Postcards about to be mailed
35/365 Victor on the first walk of our new neighborhood
42/365 Butter through my vintage Anscoflex camera
47/365 Artist for Animal Fundraiser
53/365 Jacques Cartier Bridge at dusk.
For more, check out March’s 365 Challenge!