“Special Issue”

Back before Photoshop was a verb, artist Norman Conquest doctored an entire issue of American Nudist Leader and clothed all the nudes. He called the work Special Issue, and indeed it was. Since the nudists were “at play” (as opposed to standing like models in an L.L. Bean catalog) Conquest had his work, uh, cut out for him. Armed with only scissors, an X-Acto knife,  and a can of Scotch Spray Mount adhesive, Conquest labored day and night for nearly two weeks to produce this one-of-a- kind masterpiece.  The legendary Ivan Karp described it as “Some of the best collage work  I’ve ever seen.”

Conquest had several offers to purchase the work (“Enough for a night on the town with a high-priced escort…”) but turned them down. The edition was stolen from his apartment in NYC and only the photograph below remains.

Special Issue (ca. 1987) by Norman Conquest

“Special Issue” cover  (ca. 1987)

[Click on image for a larger view]

“Alas, it was the cleanest piece I ever did,” said Conquest.