The Portland Stamp Company The Portland Stamp Company

Stamp No. 023Matthew Rose

Artistamp No. 23 acts as a catalogue for Matthew Rose’s show “Weekend Plans” at the Karuizawa New Art Museum. Each sheet is signed, dated, rubber-stamped, and numbered. A total of 100 were made, half of which went to the opening in Japan.

Matthew lives and works in Paris, France. He is known widely for his collage works and wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor installations, he graduated from Brown University (1981) with a degree in Semiotics/Linguistics. Influenced by Americans Ray Johnson, Jasper Johns, Joseph Cornell, and a handful of French surrealists, Rose works late hours ripping apart paper and bits of text to remake contemporary life into what the artist calls his “theory of everything.”


Have you designed a stamp before?  

My first stamp was a collage using clip art and French text glued to a rectangle of black cardboard: A boy emerges from a public pool, wipes himself down and addresses a girl on a chaise lounge. He announces (in French) : “Moi, je viens pisser dans la piscine.”  Translation: I come to piss in the pool. This was produced in 1990. I mailed the original to a French artist friend, Michel Hosszu, who designed the stamp sheet and printed up 1000 of them. 

I’ve since produced several stamp sheets including Wet Ain’t, 1995, edition of 1000, unnumbered (pictured below) and Rubens Rounding Third, 2009, A3 size, edition of 1000, signed, numbered, and dated (both of these are pictured below). The first draft of “Rubens” was entered into the Oxacca Museum of Stamp Art in Oxacca, Mexico and earned 1st prize and an award of $5000. This stamp sheet showed a baseball player stopping in mid-run fascinated by a Rubens nude.


How was this different? What were the most interesting or fun aspects of designing these poster stamps?

I loved working with Niko and The Portland Stamp Company because we collaborated on the mini catalog of my series “Weekend Plans” in nearly real time. I produce a great deal of work and then trying to organize them into readable interesting aesthetic documents is not always easy. We tried to create rhythm through the rows so that the eye would move easily and discover how one piece related to its neighbor, above, below, to the left, to the right. Weekend Plans will debut in Tokyo this December at the Karuizawa New Art Museum (7 December 2019 – 13 January 2020) – the original collages and these stamp sheets, each signed and dated and numbered. 


Tell us about the art. Did you create something new for this stamp?

I created the originals in about a two week period (there are about 100 works). It was a blur of activity but each piece brought together kitsch French pornography and wedded it to a range of cartoon material and other somewhat absurd elements to redefine what weekend plans (an obsession for man) could possibly be. They are fun, surreal, sexy, and possibly insane.

Making stamps out of them allows me to push them out into the world in a vastly different way – something more public (as they potentially could be mailed), and possibly embarrassing for all. What we do on our weekends and the plans—sexy or not, are loaded. In a way, perhaps, these are stamps that tell of the secret life of postmen, postwomen), letter writers, and letter readers. Perhaps they will help get us off of email and back to making the trip the post office again.

Reubens Rounding Third

Rubens Rounding Third, 2009, artistamp by Matthew Rose. He has about 300 of these available. Inquire with him directly via Instagram if you are interested. 

wet aint

Wet Ain’t (Little Rose), 1995, artistamp by Matthew Rose. Matthew has perhaps twenty of these remaining. Inquire with him directly if you are interested.


The Artist Series

An ongoing collaboration with invited designers, artists, and writers who create original work for an unusual form: the poster stamp. The stamps are printed on lickable, gummed paper and pinhole perforated by hand on our vintage machines. The sheets are signed and numbered by the artist, and released in editions of 100. Suitable for framing. View full series.

Upcoming releases include Bwana Spoons, Ka’ila Farrell Smith, and Art Chantry