Work by Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin, Olafur Eliasson, among others sold at RCA Secret Annual Postcard Sale

November 26th, 2008

postcards1b
Amy Winehouse by unknown artist, on RCA Secret postcard, via BBC

2,700 postcards composed by a combination of famous and emerging artists were sold at the Royal College of the Arts’ Secret postcard event this past Saturday, November 22nd, in London.  Every year, students from the college contribute original pieces of art on postcards, along with many of the worlds top artists and assorted other notables, to raise funds for the school. The RCA has managed to raise close to £1 million from the sale of the postcards since 1994, when a student came up with the idea.

Cards sell for £40 each, and are unmarked and unsigned; the viewer or buyer does not know who created it, leading to the possibility of acquiring works by the likes of Damien Hirst, Peter Doig, or Manolo Blahnik very inexpensively.  Postcards have been resold for princely sums at major auction houses. A card by Hirst was sold for £15,600 in 2004, while a Doig original sold for £42,000 in 2000.  “Keeping the works anonymous is a very clever idea because potential buyers have to use their own powers of discrimination,” noted artist and regular contributor Grayson Perry said. “They must look at art works closely rather than read labels, a habit they might find rewarding at any exhibition.”

While readers have missed out on this year’s sale, which was held on November 13th, they can always look forward to 2009.

Exhibition page: RCA Secret
Secret art postcards go on sale [BBC]
Lucky dip in secret postcard sale [GuardianUK]
In London, Purchase a Postcard Worth 42,000 British Pounds [IHT]

postcards1a
Work by unknown artist, on RCA Secret postcard, via BBC

postcards4b
Work by unknown artist, on RCA Secret postcard, via BBC

postcard2b
Work by unknown artist, on RCA Secret postcard, via BBC

postcard2a
Work by unknown artist, on RCA Secret postcard, via BBC

postcards4a
Work by unknown artist, on RCA Secret postcard, via BBC

postcard3a
Work by unknown artist, on RCA Secret postcard, via BBC

postcard3b
Work by unknown artist, on RCA Secret postcard, via BBC