cover image Vincent Sardon: The Stampographer

Vincent Sardon: The Stampographer

Vincent Sardon. Siglio (DAP, dist.), $32.50 (108p) ISBN 978-1-938221-16-3

This memorable volume showcases the work of Parisian artist and former political cartoonist Sardon, who designs and manufactures rubber stamps, which he exhibits in his Paris gallery. Sardon’s work subverts viewers’ expectations through a medium that is typically the banal instrument of clerical offices. Rather than black- and red-inked denials or affirmations, on display are stamps featuring the faces of world dictators, nude cowboys, and bondage-themed Christmas ornaments. Others spell out pointed insults, e.g., “douche,” “Your life is meaningless,” and “Your manuscript is so bad that while considering it, our entire reading committee got cancer and died.” An apartment-building intercom labels its residents with stamps of blatant monikers such as “Undiagnosed Lunatic,” “White Rastafarian,” and “Little Old Lady Who Has Been Dead for Two Months.” In an interview with editors Richard Kraft and Lisa Pearson, Sardon speaks sardonically of artists (“Radical artists are often easy to caricature”); insightfully about humor (“Truth is brutal and candid, and makes you laugh”); and notes the power of the “written violence” that he feels stamps communicate. Gorgeously uncouth, cynical, and—in moments—despairing, Sardon’s work primarily revels in a Dada-like spirit of playful inconsequence and good-natured goading, and it’s expertly captured here. Color photos. (Nov.)