27 November, 2005

on postcard art

"postcards are so last century"

from the guardian

Art-lovers and bargain-hunters were out in force in Kensington this morning as the Royal College of Art opened its annual “secret” postcard exhibition, offering the chance to snap up works by the likes of transvestite potter Grayson Perry and photographer David Bailey for just £35 a piece, writes David Batty.

This year there are a record 2,700 cards available, submitted by big-name artists and art students alike – but you only find out whose card is who's when you’ve bought them and can see the artist’s signature revealed on the back.

Lucky buyers so far include Carlito Briones, a 52-year-old currency trader from Balham, south London, who bought two Damien Hirsts, and a 50-year-old retired engineer called Austin who snapped up cards by Paula Rego and Julian Opie.

But after 12 years the exhibition has got a bit tired. After all, postcards are so last century. And with art nerds bringing along their cronies to snap up as many works by famous names as possible, it’s time for something a bit more challenging.

So how about a guess the sheets competition, where you have to pick which dirty linen was stripped off Tracey Emin’s infamous bed? Or let’s see whether you can tell a transcript of Fiona Banner’s Turner Prize-nominated Arsewoman in Wonderland from Alistair Campbell’s erotica or extracts from Black Lace books.

But perhaps the ultimate challenge would be the Kim Howells’ lucky dip, in honour of the former culture minister who labelled the Turner prize as "conceptual bullshit", where you have to find a Manzoni in a stack of unlabelled tin cans.

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