Collecting: It’s in the Cards

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I love collecting postcards of art, and often spend time in museum gift shops mulling over the options. Usually I buy duplicates, one for me to save, and extras to mail or use as gift cards in packages. Packaged postcards of exhibitions have been an increasingly popular item, and some sets of postcards, notably Mark Ryden’s, have become highly collectible, increasing in value once the print run is over.

I have framed postcards of art I like, and there are collectible postcards and  promotional postcards from shows hanging in my house. One of my prized pieces of ephemera, as these types of pieces are known, is a Don Ed Hardy image of Los Angeles City Hall as the Virgin of Guadalupe from a show at La Luz de Jesus in the early 1990s. Another is from a Ron Athey performance. CARTWHEEL writer Marilyn Nix has a vast collection of ephemera from art shows dating back to the 1970s, some of which was included in Pacific Standard Time.

In just the past week, sets of collectible cards have just been released by two of the country’s leading Surrealist/Symbolist artists, Marion Peck and Gail Potocki. Peck’s set of 16 postcards, packaged into a heavy card stock folder, include paintings from her current exhibition “Animals” at Michael Kohn Projects, which runs through April 27. They are available from Porterhouse Fine Art Editions, and yes, I snapped up two sets of her dreamy, often anthropomorphized animals. I especially like the cats and the dead bird.

Series One of  Gail Potocki”Freaks” paintings features five postcards in a limited set of 100, in an envelope signed and numbered by the artist. The full color postcards feature Daisy & Violet Hilton, Pip, Flip, Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy, and Annie Jones the Bearded Woman, some of history’s most recognizable sideshow performers. The cards are presented in handmade letterpressed trading card form, reminiscent of Victorian carte de visites, which featured images of both everyday people and famous figures. These are available online from Century Guild which also has a limited number of Potocki’s eight postcard set printed for San Diego Comic Con 2005, to coincide with the debut of “The Union of Hope and Sadness: The Art of Gail Potocki” and feature paintings form the book (Potocki’s next show, featuring new work, opens in August at Century Guild). Each of these  cards measures 6″ x 9″ and my set will probably end up rotating through in the kitchen, which is pretty much the only wall space I have left!

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Marion Peck, “Animals”
Michael Kohn Projects
7270 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Open Tuesday to Friday 10 am – 6 pm; Saturday 11 am – 6 pm

Century Guild
6150 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Open by appointment only, please call 800.610.2368

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