Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Congrats to Matt Sesow!

The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) released six new postage stamps on Friday, 20 September 2013, focusing on the talents of artists with disabilities. The stamps were issued in conjunction with the United Nations High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development on 23 September in New York City. You can see images of the event here.

The stamp images, titled Break Barriers, Open Doors, include a painting by the DMV's own Matt Sesow, self portraits by artists Chuck Close and Josephine King, a painting and Sargy Mann, a group photograph of the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe, and an individual photograph by Pete Eckert.

“This project led us to an incredible pool of talented artists who provided stamp images that send powerful messages of achievement,” noted UNPA Creative Director, Rorie Katz. “Their focus on creating world-class art is an inspiration to everyone. We are pleased to pay tribute to their accomplishments through our postage stamps.”

The stamps, issued in US dollars, Swiss francs and Euros, will be sold at United Nations stamp shops in New York, Geneva and Vienna. They can also be purchased at http//, or by calling the New York office at 1-800-234-8672.

To learn more about the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development go to The Meeting, which includes heads of states, is expected to result in a concise, action oriented outcome document to provide policy guidance and strengthen efforts of the international community to ensure accessibility for and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development efforts.

The Artists’ Stories

The artists, whose worked is featured on the six postage stamps, have a diverse background that is united around the visual arts. Their stories are as inspirational as their art. For detailed information about each artist, go to…

Chuck Close (USA)
Self-Portrait II (2010)

Chuck Close is an award-winning visual artist noted for his highly inventive techniques used to paint the human face. Though a rare spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him paralysed, he has continued to paint using a brush-holding device strapped to his wrist and forearm. He was presented with the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 2000 and was appointed by President Obama to serve on The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Josephine King (United Kingdom)
Tears And Laughter, France 2009,
Ink on paper

“My work is based on personal experience and has progressed massively since I recovered from being severely ill and suicidal during a breakdown caused by my Bipolar illness. Since that experience my painting began to reach new depths that it never had before. I was newly compelled to express my darkest feelings and my work started to avalanche. Even if I had wanted to, I would not have been able to stop its flow.” “When I am painting I reach a state of mind where I’m in another world, a world of unknown territory. I am not conscious of where I am. I paint through pure feelings.” “My voice is just one amongst millions but if there are people who identify with my work and are moved by it, then I feel I have succeeded. I tell a personal story, yet if I depict pain or suffering it is universal. I paint from the heart and with honesty.”

F.s. 1,40
Sargy Mann (United Kingdom)
See the Girl with the Red Dress On,
Oil on canvas 60” x 44”

The painter Sargy Mann was diagnosed with cataracts at 36, and went on to lose his sight completely. But in his mind’s eye, his vision did not fade. Mann found new ways to keep working and today his paintings are more acclaimed than ever. “I was saying to someone … how incredibly lucky I have been. I had about 25 years’ apprenticeship for going blind. It was a bugger, but I kept working out how to paint over those 25 years, and my brain kept finding new ways to see the world”.

F.s. 1,90
China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe (China)

The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe was founded in 1987 to provide people living with disabilities a platform to express themselves in a special art. The Troupe’s guiding principle is the pursuit of Truth, Honesty and Virtue which it emphasizes in all of its activities. The performers, with varying degrees of hearing, visual and physical disabilities, impart their glamour through dance and performances with spectacular sets and elegant, colourful costumes. The artists are true professionals who dramatically illustrate the creative spirit and potential that lies at the heart of every person, regardless of physical challenges imposed through disability.

€ 0,70
Pete Eckert (USA)
Electro Man

“I didn’t take photography seriously until I went totally blind. I was trained in sculpture and industrial design. I have always been a visual person and planned to study architecture at Yale, but then I started to lose my sight.” “I was on my own to find a path. It took me two years to recover and figure out what to do. My first photography outing after a thousand questions at the camera store started it all. People liked the photos. I had found a medium.” “I view my work during the event of taking the shot in my mind’s eye. I ‘see’ each shot very clearly, only I use sound, touch, and memory. I am more of a conceptual artist than a photographer. My influences come from my past memory of art and what I now find in the world at large. Occasionally people refuse to believe I am blind. I am a visual person. I just can’t see.”

€ 1.70
Matt Sesow (USA)
Dive Bomb

When Matt Sesow was eight years old, he was struck by the propeller of a landing airplane near his home. The accident resulted in his left arm being severed and the loss of his left hand. Without formal art education, Matt Sesow discovered painting as a hobby while working in the computer field. In the evenings and on weekends he played with painting and began selling his work to self-taught and outsider art collectors. In 2001, after establishing himself within the art community as a powerfully diverse and independent painter, Matt Sesow retired from his computer career to pursue his art full time. He has exhibited and travelled across the United States and securing new collectors internationally including significant exhibitions in Spain, France and Slovenia. Matt continues to be an independent artist who makes a living by selling his work directly to fans

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