Creating fraudulent postage stamps is certainly not a new concept, but artist Michael Hernandez de Luna takes his faux stamp collection a step further. Hernandez de Luna mailed letters to himself from all over the world using his digitally created stamps. The stamps depict subjects ranging from Hillary Clinton flashing her chest, Johnny Cash giving the finger, and the garish plastic face of a blow-up doll. Most of the stamps compiled in his new book “American Beauty” use controversial images to comment on religion, politics and culture. Hernandez de Luna has received a remarkable amount of negative feedback for what critics call his irreverent form of mail fraud. Though he is committing a crime and his images are sometimes shocking it is more shocking that a government employee looked at the stamp and likely thought, “Yes, this is a government-sanctioned postage stamp,” and continued to pass it through the delivery system—and perhaps they didn’t even care. Bottom-line, the prints are witty and fun in a provoking manner, and the dual effect of the salacious images and the idea that they traveled full circle (each presented here with proof of delivery) through the postal system is, if not a political statement, engagingly fun to view. (Rachel Turney)
Through October 18 at Carl Hammer Gallery, 740 N. Wells, (312)266-8512.