WHAT IT IS -
It is historical fact that there has only been one U.S. Postage stamp issued that featured
an artwork of a nude, feminine form. While there may have been other reasons for this at
the time, 1932 to be exact, the United States posture on the matter happened to ooze with
a very pompous, 'holier-than-thou' attitude, an attitude of prudishness and censorship.
Not only towards the citizens of the U.S., but even worse, towards the entire world.
The glaring example to all this was the original reaction by the U.S., in that letters
bearing the original stamp bearing Goya's "Nude Maja" were rejected and not even
allowed to enter this country. But...
While there is much more to the story than this, just know that the anarchist in me,
along with the 'lover of fine art' in me, couldn't ignore this piece of our
country's philatelic history. As such, I devoted several years and over 22 stamp issues
during that period of time to producing artistamps, intentionally "pushing the
envelope," if-you-will. These stamps, the Nudes In
Postal Art (NIPA) series, featured
photographic images of nudes on the stamps. All of the artwork used for these stamps were
my own photographic works. A few of these photographs were enhanced via digital darkroom
techniques specifically for the stamps. The majority were pretty much 'as-is.' All
tastefully composed and designed, but in virtually all cases, they were blatantly nude and
used on cover envelopes sent through the U.S. and worldwide mail systems. A small way of
taking a slap at the CSAC, the USPS, and whoever else determines that the U.S. doesn't
need artworks of nudes on stamps.
To make a long story short, it was a lot of fun, they were many times totally
misunderstood, sometimes bringing ridiculed remarks referring to chauvinism, and at least
once an official rebuke.
All-in-all, the NIPA series is an interesting topical collection by itself...
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