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Rock On! Sticker Madness at Ad Hoc With Martha Cooper Going Postal

Long before Flickr was a Flicker in your daddy’s eye, Martha Cooper

was “all-borough” out on the streets and subways of New York with her camera capturing and documenting the legacy of graffiti images for future generations. A quarter century later, Ms. Cooper picked up her first digital camera and found it’s diminutive size and ease of use was perfect for capturing one of her new street loves, the postal sticker, in it’s multitude of incarnations.

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On Friday night Ad Hoc Gallery hosted a lively show, party, and sticker fair to fete Martha and her new book “Going Postal”, the bound document that presents what she’s been snapping since 2002. To paraphrase Ms. Cooper, the book recognizes the aesthetics of the postal label and preserves the ephemeral form in print.

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Lined up outside in the cold Bushwick night, the guests ranged from 7 to 77, the widest demographic we’ve ever seen at a show like this, attesting to the regard people have for sticker art as an art form, and, more likely, their regard for this strong proponent of the creative spirit, Martha Cooper.
Martha Cooper Basking in the Sticker Glow

Martha Cooper basking in the sticker glow (with family helping at the sticker table) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

The Crowd Stuck for Hours before Peeling Away

The Crowd Stuck for Hours before Peeling Off to the Afterparty (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Retrieving the newly dry stickers from the clothesline (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Retrieving the newly dry stickers from the clothesline (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Fans flipped through books to select their favorite (Kosbe) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Fans flipped through books to select their favorite (Kosbe) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

This troupe of art fans added a new energy to the night! (photo Steven P. Harrington)

This troupe of art fans added a new energy to the night! (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Tazz Red Nose says he's been on the scene since back the day (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Tazz Red Nose says he's been wreckin' stickers since way back in the day. This piece is a full size canvas tribute to two of his most popular characters. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

9 Panels like this

9 Panels like this with stickers dating back to 1990, were placed around the Ad Hoc gallery. Martha likes the way the two distinct disciplines of graff-styled lettering and street art have intersected on stickers. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Looking hard while posing for a pic. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Looking hard while posing for a pic. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Trading and giveaways between fans were happening all around (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Trading and giveaways between fans were happening all around (photo Steven P. Harrington)

A new giant bear by C.Damage (photo Steven P. Harrington)

A new bear by C.Damage (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Kosbe covers the options  (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Kosbe covers the options (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Blanco Explains Why BK is Down (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Blanco Explains Why BK is Down (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Dwell and One Unit win the award for most fanciful and otherworldly use of materials

Dwell and One Unit win the award for most fanciful and otherworldly use of materials on stickers. A small collection of their work incorporated wood patterned shelf-lining vinyl collage on postal labels. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Chris Stain pulls at your humanity with his depictions of our neighbors. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Chris Stain pulls at your humanity with his depictions of our neighbors. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Depoe had more colorful abstracts on canvas in the show. Here is one of his stickers. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Depoe had more colorful abstracts on canvas in the show. Here is one of his stickers. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Aiko bunny with splashes of paint (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Aiko bunny with splashes of paint (photo Steven P. Harrington)

PC? - This may stand for Prince Charming (photo Steven P. Harrington)

PC? - This may stand for Prince Charming (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Giving generously, Chris from Robots will kill prepared envelopes containing 3 stickers and a button for the show. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Giving generously, Chris from Robots will kill prepared envelopes containing 3 stickers and a button for the show. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Blanco obliterated a postal label completely (almost) to create these stencil tributes to Norman Rockwell. This one refers to

Blanco opaqued a postal label completely (almost) to create this stencil tribute to Norman Rockwell. This girl walks the red line - the original "The Problem We All Live With" by Norman Rockwell appeared in Look magazine in 1964, ten years after the Brown Vs. Board of Education decision and during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

James Brown Blanco

Hilarious tributes to the cassette tape, Blanco made multiple variations of this stencilled sticker and, with an actual typewriter, gave them labels, including MixTape groupings of old-skool jams, as well as iconic album titles like "in Utero" by Nirvana, and this one. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Click here for “Going Postal” by Martha Cooper

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