If you have been a part of our little traveling minstrel show for a while, you may already know this – but if not, I’m going to fill you with a lot of random images and knowledge with links to find out more. It seems like spontaneous and random would be the best way to pay homage to a guy who has lived his whole life that way.
Because without him, it’s likely we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing today.
If you have ever been to a rubber stamp show, I’ll bet you have shopped in this booth . . .
. . . and had interactions with this man. But how many of you know that William “Picasso” Gaglione is truly the Father of Rubber Stamping?
It’s a truly fascinating story with words many of you have never heard like “Dada” and “Fluxus” that basically started in the 1960s in New York, moved to San Francisco in the late 60s and then to Chicago around the turn of the century. Along the way, he created a persona that he called “dadaland” as he became involved in the mail art movement and used his love of collages, drawings and rubber stamps in his creations.
But I can’t tell the story nearly as well as Picasso’s darling wife Darlene Domel can – I did a web search for “Picasso Gaglione” and among other things came up with this great and detailed article that Darlene wrote three years ago about her husband.
After reading Darlene’s essay, I got hooked on trying to find pictures of Picasso from earlier times. Found a lot on his Facebook page, and others on various blogs and gallery sites. This was the earliest one I found – he’s the guy in the middle and at the time he was about 25 years old.
Here are some others that I found – yep, look closely and you’ll recognize him.
I suspect Picasso’s life really got interesting when he and Darlene intertwined . . .
And they started this place in San Francisco eventually was called (naturally) Stamp Francisco. And part of it was a Stamp Art Museum – but why should I try to explain it to you when you can get a personal tour?
It’s not always in focus, but the view of Picasso in the 1980s is priceless – and the voice hasn’t changed to this day. If you’re getting this by e-mail you’ll only see a black box above, but you can click on that box or this link -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppkdGs1M8Co – and you’ll be able to watch it.
Here are some posters I found from some shows that Picasso has done over the years.
And here’s a link to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle about an exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library in the late 90s.
And another from a blog post in 2000 just before Picasso and Darlene moved to Chicago. If you love history, read them both when you have some time – you’ll get an education.
Once they made it to Chicago around the turn of the century (doesn’t that sound like a long long time ago?), they set up a new company called Stampland and a whole new museum. And you get to take another tour that was shot in 2009 . . .
Again, you can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rTAAFT5B94 if you get the black box.
And here’s another blog article written about the same time that has pictures of a trip through the world of Stampland.
Here are two pictures just because I loved them . . .
If you’re in or near St. Petersburg, you can actually see a Picasso Gaglione exhibit that starts September 7. Here’s an article that Darlene wrote along with information about the exhibit.
I posted this video a while back, but until I scoured the web for information to feed my idea for a blog post, I really didn’t realize how honored my niece should be that four weeks ago she got to participate in a piece of performance art with a true pioneer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fvU8u7Tbsw
If there is a point in all of this randomness that I have assembled, it is this – sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, we forget to take a moment to look back along the path that got us to where we are. At some point, Picasso Gaglione created a fork in his own path and ventured off in a whole new direction. And because he did, around the world there are people who are indebted to him – even if they don’t know it.
But now you do. Thanks, my friends.