Scott Helmes is a visual poet who began collecting rubber stamp sets in 1974. His poetry stretches the limits of language, explores the multifaceted concepts of meaning, and encompasses all manners of reading. His work also investigates typographic concepts, printing methods, and alternative letter forms within the modern meaning of communication. Helmes’ poetry is realized through a variety of techniques and materials such as rubber stamps, stencils, and collage. He has exhibited internationally and his work is in the collections of some of the world’s leading institutions, including Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, Paris’ Bibliotheque Nationale de France, and Frankfurt’s Museum für Kunsthandwerk.
WILLIAM “PICASSO” GAGLIONE
An avid collector of all things, William “Picasso” Gaglione was the original owner of Stamp Francisco and has been involved with rubber stamp art and rubber stamp manufacturing for decades. He is currently the co-proprietor of Chicago's Stampland. His artistic influence on the world of rubber stamping has been documented extensively through numerous international exhibitions and publications. As a publisher, he has produced multiple boxed exhibition catalogs and assembling periodicals such as Stampzine. Gaglione has created many aliases and identifications during his long career as a conceptual artist (Picasso, Dadaland, etc.) and he continues to prolifically create and perform as a neo-Dadist, Fluxus practitioner, and correspondence artist.
Jeff Rathermel, the fantastic curator of MCBA, invited me to be the archive's first rubber stamp artist in residence.
The large archive, (amounting to 70,000 stamps, and stamp related material) was in the process of being documented and catalogue whilst i was there. I was very kindly given access to the rubber stamp archive room.