Friday, May 27, 2022

“Better than the one that I’m in”

Donald Evans, talking to the Paris Review about his postage-stamp art (creating stamps from imaginary countries):

“It was vicarious travelling for me to a made-up world that I liked better than the one I was in. I’m doing that now too. No catastrophes occur. There are no generals or battles or warplanes on my stamps. The countries are innocent, peaceful, composed. Sometimes I get so concentrated in these worlds 1 get confused . . . it’s hard to get out.”
The blurred scans accompanying the text are a disappointment. You can browse the full-color pages of Willy Eisenhart’s The World of Donald Evans, which approximately quotes this passage, at the Internet Archive. Or visit (even if only online) the current Tibor de Nagy exhibit of Evans’s work.

And here is an extended introduction to postage-stamp art: What Is Faux Postage? (Read, Seen Heard).

[Re: catastrophes: Donald Evans (1945–1977) died in an apartment-building fire.]

comments: 2

Chris said...

I had forgotten that Bruce Chatwin wrote a nice review of The World of Donald Evans for the New York Review, which may in fact have been how I first heard about him. It's reprinted in his collection What Am I Doing Here. I think I had also forgotten about this interview.

Michael Leddy said...

Happy to share.

When I saw the word “interview” in TWoDE, I hoped for a full-fledged Paris Review interview. Oh well.