The Post-It Show
After 3,000 sheets of adorned pink, yellow, light blue, and rarer colors like black and brown were perused by the public for two weekends, The Post-It Show just concluded its 13th year. The exhibition and sale features about 400 artists ranging from collegiate upstarts to giant artists, like James Jean, Gary Baseman, and the creator of the Simpsons, Matt Groening. The exhibition takes place annually during the first two weekends of December at GR2 (Giant Robot 2 Art Gallery).
The entire first drop of the Post-It Show can be viewed below. Please click on the images to load a hi-res version to view each individual post-it.
By Eric Nakamura, Editor-in-Chief
Photos by George Ko. Video edited by Sharon Choi.
This year marked yet another plateau for the exhibition. The Black Friday-esque line-up to become the "first picker" began at a record early time of Wednesday at 12:22AM, which means four nights in line until Saturday afternoon. A live webcam was placed in the area, and Ryan Riddell, who flew in from New York took it all with great humor. Public comments about his craziness flowed in. He was then joined by more on Friday, making the the total 11 who stayed the night. More reportedly came at 4AM and by the afternoon opening time, the line swelled around the corner and midway down the block.
I worked the cashier area which ensures that I meet every one of the hundreds who come through. Many are annual visitors but this year, there were plenty of new faces. The word has gotten out that art on Post-It notes at $25 each are a steal and can satisfy all holiday shopping. It's like fan service, and most artists make a pittance here compared to their normal take from art, but the social currency is equally large. Who doesn't want to Instagram a perfectly square piece of art?
For artist Linnea Strid from Norrsundet, a Northern Sweden town of 968, this show helps get the word out on her work. "For an artist like me that lives on the other side of the planet, it's truly an awesome way to get your work out there for more eyes to see it in person." Strid's original paintings can command multiple thousands and she continues, "I love that anyone can afford art from artists that you normally would just dream of buying an original piece of artwork from."
San Francisco resident Chris Diaz has made the pilgrimage to LA five years straight, whether it's by trains, planes, or automobiles. He often procures works by indie comics legend Xaime Hernandez, but his tastes have grown thanks to his conversations with others who suggest picking by your own eye. Diaz adds, "I started paying attention to pieces that just appealed to me even though I wasn't familiar with the artist's work. People like Paige Moon, Thinh Nguyen, Lina Yu, Charlie Powell and Kimberly Glyder among others." He often walks away with a treasure trove-like collection and threatens to line up overnight next year.
Some annual questions come up like, "is there an open call?" Although one might think that to get 3000 pieces of art, we're in need of artists, but the exhibition is curated and by invitation only. This insures the highest quality. Yet getting involved could be as easy as showing us your work ahead of time. Other questions involve the set up and take down, which is tedious as one can imagine. Post-Its stick but need some assistance to stay up for two weekends on the textured walls. Plenty of hands help place them randomly up and the aftermath is a mountain of a task that can occupy a month.
It's all worth it. For myself, Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson (the latter husband and wife artist team are the actual creators of the exhibition), the payoff is in widening the accessibility of art and having a crowd buzzing about original creations. At the same time it's also about seeing old friends, artists, and colleagues. Ironically at year 13, some of the annual die-hards are now friends. The years wouldn't be the same without them around.