Throughout my artistic career, I have made rubber stamps and their prints, whether the stamps were part of the artwork, its additional documentation or a parallel activity in the research of visual poetry, alternative way of printing and search for a personal trade mark.
The first time I used stamps consciously for artistic purposes was in 1973, while I studied painting in Prague, where I bought a small children's printing kit with rubber letters. In my correspondence with the artists in Yugoslavia, I started using them to print verbal messages in the form of conceptual, visual or concrete poetry.
I ordered the first stamps from a stamp maker in 1983 and among them was a stamp showing a postman delivering mail-art parcels to Mickey Mouse. That stamp was, to my delight and amazement, published in the American catalogue 'Mail Art about Mail Art'. It was a great encouragement for my future work in this field and since then, in the following fifteen years. I made over two hundred seventy stamps.
Wishing to define free exchange in mail-art, in 1986 I used an eraser to make a stamp reading "NO ISM!" - a message saying that in this movement there are no “isms” , i.e. dictated styles and ideologies. This stamp was very well received in the international mail-art network and this term was later often used as a name of the whole movement.
Thanks to my stamps, I was invited to take part in the Amsterdam fair of alternative printing and publishing "Europe Against the Current' in 1989. Among a thousand participants from West and East Europe, I was the only one exhibiting stamp prints, and the University Library of Amsterdam bought one of my stamps for their collection.
I impressed another of my stamps - "You Met Andrej Tisma" - on people's bodies (arms, hands, shoulders) in New York, Paris, Rijeka, etc.. and a black man's image on a stamp on the Day of the struggle against racial discrimination in Novi Sad. When at the Peace Chapel (Sremski Karlovci) I impressed a stamp showing a heart with rays, some people who did not have any paper on them gave me banknotes to stamp on. While I worked with students at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, I stamped about fifty of their student booklets with a stamp reading "A Student of Goodness". And so on and on.
The stamp has indeed given me a lot of pleasure in my life, possibilities for artistic expression and encounters with many people. Perhaps the greatest pleasure of all was an exhibition of my stamps in San Francisco, March 1996, at the Stamp Art Gallery, the only gallery in the USA, and maybe in the whole world, that deals with the serious study and promotion of rubber stamp art. My stamp art has finally been verified in the right place and presented in the right way, showing that my dealing with the stamp over more than twenty years has not been in vain.