In 1987, as part of the international Mail Art movement, artist Norman Conquest rubber-stamped a dollar bill, affixed postage, addressed it to a friend, and dropped it in a mail box in New York City. A week later he was contacted by an FBI agent who accused him of “defacing currency.”
Conquest explained that this was an act of art, not vandalism, but the agent just didn’t get it. He demanded to know how many dollars had been mailed.
“Only one,” Conquest assured him, “that’s all I could afford.”
The agent didn’t find this funny and said the FBI would be back in contact soon. The artist was left to wonder whether he’d be arrested.
As it turned out, he never heard back from the FBI.
Since his friend never received the dollar, he decided to commemorate the event. He stole a huge promotional poster from the Grand Central branch post office and collaged it. It included an enlarged facsimile of the mailed moolah and a faked postmark.
Below is a photograph of the final framed artwork titled “We Deliver. Sometimes.”
Click on image for larger view.