(Image: Michael Thompson , R.I.P Hunter , 2005, Laser Print, 4" x 3"; © Michael Thompson)
About half of one long wall in Thompson's studio is devoted to his famous (and, in some circles, infamous) stamp art. Since the '90s, he has been producing sheets of counterfeit postage stamps (at first using a copy machine and later, computers), copying the designs and typefaces of official stamps from around the world and using his own—usually politically charged, humorous, or erotic—images to illustrate them. A "Spanish" stamp celebrates an anniversary of the Spanish Inquisition; a "Chinese" one features a sole man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square.
(Image: Michael Thompson , Hunt Fox , 2007, Laser print, 1.5" x 1.5"; © Michael Thompson)
He mails letters from around the world using these miniature works of art as postage, sending them to friends, who then return the envelopes to him so he can create his pieces (usually composed of a sheet's worth of any given stamp and one or more letters posted with it). Morlen Sinoway, who sells Thompson's work at his West Loop gallery, gets the majority of the letters; hundreds more have been confiscated by mail workers around the world over the years. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Postmaster General is not a fan.
Education: Michael studied at School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
More on Michael...here.