About two years ago, I mentioned my first real encounter with the work of Mike Mandel. At that time, Mike sat in for a class that Bill Burke was teaching and talked about his career. One of the early projects that he discussed was his set of Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards (1975), a collection of portraits of photographers as baseball players with their “stats” on the back. These cards have since become collector’s items in the photography community but rarely do you see a complete set.
Well, as it turns out, Mike himself has put a complete collection on eBay.
Complete set of Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards, 1975 (auctioned on eBay)
© Mike Mandel
As he writes in the listing,
The Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards is a photo offset lithographic project that I authored and published in 1975. The project satirized the phenomenon of the fine art photography community being consumed by the larger art world and commercial culture. I photographed photographers as if they were baseball players and produced a set of cards that were packaged in random groups of ten, with bubble gum, so that the only way of collecting a complete set was to make a trade.
Recently, I have offered complete sets for sale, but they are rare. This is a first edition of all 134 Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards (plus one checklist, 135 cards in all). MINT CONDITION, offered for sale directly by the artist. Photographs by Mike Mandel. Texts, statistics and quotes by the respective artists printed on verso. Each card 3-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches. The reverse side for each card enabled the photographer to fill in their own personal data that referred to the information usually included on real baseball cards. In a sense, each photographer’s response provides an insight about how they approached their participation.
Some of the photographers, curators, and critics included are: Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, Ed Ruscha, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Minor White, Robert Cumming, Lewis Baltz, Duane Michals, Edmund Teske, Peter Bunnell, Robert Heinecken, Beaumont Newhall, etc. The cards are stored in archival baseball card pages, no pvc, acid free, 9 cards to a page. The set is collected and sold within a storage binder, black, pure archival polyproylene.
I will sign my card upon request.
Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards: Mike Mandel, 1975 (auctioned on eBay)
© Mike Mandel
Have a few thousand to spend? Looking to do it in the next three hours? Then hurry up and place a bid!