Purely Visual | Sheaff : ephemera

Purely Visual


Probably my most favorite paper items to find are things that are so beautifully and perfectly composed that they simply sing. And the finest ones—to me—are the totally inadvertent ephemera . . . the ticket, the receipt, the envelope, the stub, the naive drawing that just happens to be terrifically evocative. The item may be 150 years old or I may pick it up off the street tomorrow. Some may have been consciously intended, but most are stunning purely by happenstance, one in a thousand or one in a million . . . perhaps a strong and clear rubber stamp impression struck in just the perfect compositional spot. With few exceptions, none of these are great because they were made so on purpose. The ones I really treasure are the ones with zero cash value but huge visual appeal.

And then there are all those pieces of paper that tell us to "Do this", "Do that", Don't do this", "Don't do that."


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            All images not otherwise indicated are copyrighted by Richard D. Sheaff and not to be used for any purpose without written permission.