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Introduction to the joys of nearly half a century of stamp collecting, from a kid with his Harris Ambassador stamp album to a young man with a set of blue Scott International binders to a guy who finally realizes, heck, the world is just too much to collect in one lifetime. That's when he starts a topical approval service, then moves into older material for more sophisticated collectors, and finally into the world of eBay. He now limits his own collection to U.S. fancy cancels and pre-1930 worldwide postmarks.
Welcome Brooklyn-based artist Mel Smothers. He has a series of paintings called "Dear Andy.." Smothers adopts the postcard format in his compositions, with each work personally addressed to Andy Warhol. Beginning “Dear Andy…,” and replete with postmarks rendered in paint, each piece incorporates Warholian images in order to establish a posthumous dialogue with the seminal pop artist.
Smothers integrates text into his paintings, following in the tradition of such artists as Vincent van Gogh and Charles Marion Russell, the 19th century landscape painter of the American West, both of whom combined drawings and text in their personal correspondence. Smothers juxtaposes word and image to express his connection to Warhol’s work. After Warhol’s estate in Montauk was sold in 2006, Smothers visited the sprawling 5.6-acre oceanfront property on the eastern tip of Long Island, in his words, “to get a sense of the place.” During that time, he was struck by the contrast between the natural environment and Warhol’s mass produced pop art images. In response, he began making postcard-style paintings to “report back” on the things he saw in Montauk.
A graduate of California State University and the University of Idaho, Smothers relocated from California to the East Coast in 1999 to pursue his career in New York City. His work has been included in both solo and group shows throughout the United States, as well as in public art and multi-media projects, and the performing arts.
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