Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Andy Warhol "Limited Edition Prints" by the USPS and Fred Collins

Two limited edition prints here. One is a limited edition print of sorts (a United States postage stamp) affixed to another print on an envelope. It is an individually hand-painted print mailed on the first day of issue for the Warhol stamp used to mail it. August 9, 2002. 

For some bizarre reason, it was reported the Warhol 37 cent stamp was unveiled at the Gagosian Galllery on Madison avenue. WHAT? Jeez, I wonder if "Go Go" had any Warhol works in the back room? Gauche! 

Fortunately another source says the stamp was first presented at the Andy Warhol Museum where it most certainly belonged. The stamp was originally a photo booth portrait, and it appears the Warhol Museum owns the original. It was actually a passport photo from the 1960s. The artist first made his own prints of the image in 1964 which were sold for "a few hundred dollars." A later edition (The Red Series) from 1965 were apparently given away. Read the story of one disputed print HERE in the Daily Mail. The average print run of a United States commemorative stamp is around 50 million. That is a lot of tiny Warhol works, but still limited. The annual limited edition Christmas stamps double that number and then some. 

How many were mailed on special envelopes like this one? Only Fred Collins knows. Mr. Collins made his living creating and selling first day covers. His website currently shows one available for $12.95, which seems quite fair considering it was painted by hand. The stamp carried a 37 cent face value and still does. It isn't a "forever" stamp, but is forever worth exactly 37 cents worth of postage. Didn't even change over the last eighteen years of economic turmoil. Or whatever. I don't know if Mr. Collins work fluctuates. Collins seems to have escaped any validation from the art world…but among "first day cover" collectors he is highly regarded.

The source for Fred's drawing was a photograph taken by Burt Glinn of Magnum Photos in 1965. Andy pops out of a sewer with Edie Sedgwick! She wore her hair "Warhol-style" but hers was real. Also shown is Chuck Wein. He "discovered" Edie at the office of their mutual shrink. Wein was played by Jimmy Fallon in the 2006 film Factory Girl! Right now, one has to pay a streaming service three bucks to see it.

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