Warby Parker's Holiday Spectacle Bazaar - Leftover Launch

Artist Jason Polan draws cards at Warby Parker’s holiday spectacle bazaar – leftover launch on November 29, 2011 in New York City.

Astrid Stawiarz/WireImage

When artist Jason Polan died earlier this year, an artistic voice more singular than most left the world. Polan was known for his distinctive work — including the illustrations collected in his book Every Person in New York, which is exactly what its title suggests. After his death, Jerry Saltz described his work movingly. “His was an art of taking a sunshine pleasure in and appreciating the people, places, and things of the world,” Saltz wrote.

And now, there’s a campaign afoot to memorialize Polan’s art in the form of a postage stamp. American stamps have featured artwork by the likes of Man Ray, Georgia O’Keefe and Andy Warhol over the years, so there’s certainly precedent for it. In a new piece for Print Magazine, writer and curator Steven Heller interviewed Richard McGuire about the ongoing campaign in support of the idea of a Jason Polan stamp.

As McGuire says, the idea came in part because of Polan’s own enthusiasm for sending and receiving mail — which went far beyond verbal advocacy.

Jason was a big fan of mail. He once took out an ad in The New Yorker just to promote the U.S. Postal Service. It was a handwritten ad that pointed out the fact that for a few cents you can connect with anyone, anywhere, and how that is a wonderful thing. Who would do that? I heard it cost him $1,700 to place that ad.

Accompanying the interview are a few mock-ups of what a Polan stamp might look like. They look gloriously idiosyncratic — like nothing else out there, but also incredibly charming, as postage stamps go. Given the current debate over the USPS’s future, it would be a fine thing to live in a world with a thriving postal service — and the ability to send a letter with a bit of Jason Polan’s art in the corner.

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