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Photographer Trading Cards - Pre-Order

$25.00 USD

Image of Photographer Trading Cards - Pre-Order
  • Image of Photographer Trading Cards - Pre-Order
  • Image of Photographer Trading Cards - Pre-Order

Mike Mandel: Untitled (Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards),

From the artist: "The project satirized the phenomenon of the fine art photography community being consumed by the larger art world and commercial culture. I photographed photographers as if they were baseball players and produced a set of cards that were packaged in random groups of ten, with bubble gum, so that the only way of collecting a complete set was to make a trade. The reverse side for each card enabled the photographer to fill in their own personal data that referred to the information usually included on real baseball cards. In a sense, each photographer's response provides an insight about how they approached their participation."

From Aaron Schuman, writing in Aperture 200 (Fall 2010): "Mandel's Trading Cards sit comfortably within this movement [the conceptual experimentation "with popular rather than 'artistic' forms of photography" practiced by such artists as Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari and Stephen Shore] -- the half-ironic, half-sincere reappropriation of everyday images and photographic contexts -- and also reflect an almost exaggerated unpretentiousness through the performances of many of their subjects.

A baby-faced Larry Sultan (#13) is satirically pious as an altar boy, his two hands clasped around a baseball, his wide eyes aimed toward the heavens; a grinning Beaumont Newhall (#103) is subsumed by a face-mask and chest protector, jokingly playing the umpire-in-chief behind home plate; on the back of her card, Joyce Neimanas (#37) proclaims: 'You should bunt to sacrifice yourself to the runner'; and on the front of another Bill Owens (#31) does just that, bunting the approaching camera back down toward the ground; a bemused William Eggleston (#126) looks at his glove, apparently surprised that the ball has actually managed to land in it -- the back of his card reads 'No comment.' Even Mandel's own card (#24) shows him releasing a curveball, subtly implying that although he may appear to be aiming straight at the target, his delivery will deliberately veer away from the strike zone at just the last second. It's as if all these newfound 'photo-celebrities' are reminding the viewer -- and perhaps more important, one another -- that despite their impending art-stardom, at heart they're still just goofy kids with cameras who don't take themselves too seriously.

Of course, today these cards no longer convey accessibility or lampoon the celebrity of their subjects. Instead, they have become coveted icons in their own right, treasured totems to heroes of previous generations. Eggleston's cool bemusement is now legendary, the disorientating break of Mandel's artistic pitch is now venerated, and the overall wit and comedic self-mockery of 1970s Conceptual photography is much revered....Collectively, Mandel's Trading Cards testify to the humble, joyous, and ultimately supportive spirit of a small, tightly knit network that truly shared a passion for a once 'disdained medium' at a particularly awkward point in time, and mutually refused the egotism and envy that can so easily accompany the approach of artistic success."

Shirt Info:
1 color silks screen on each side on Ivory Comfort Colors Tee*
100% ring spun cotton

This is a pre-order ending Sunday September 20th 11.59 pm. Please allow at least 3-5 weeks for shipping after pre-order end date. You will get a shipping label notification in advance, this is not a shipping notification, which will come later when we actually send out the item.

We are only printing what is pre-ordered. No returns, no regrets.

NOTE: due to new taxes and laws we will not be shipping to UK at this time, any orders made will be refunded.

*We strive to always do shirts with Comfort Colors , but due to some global shortages on blanks we may have to use an alternative when suppliers are short. We will use Hanes Comfort Wash (which is very similar to CC in all aspects), Alstyle or Gildan Hammer.