Last November 4, on the way home from voting in the US election, performer Greg Tamblyn had a wild idea. He emailed over 100 fans and friends in foreign countries, asking them to mail him the front pages of their local papers with the US election results. He had a gut feeling Obama would win, and wanted to make the newspapers into a piece of wall art for his home.
He was overwhelmed by the response. Tamblyn has received over 65 front pages from all five major continents, and more continue to arrive.
"I was inundated," he says. "I had no idea people would get so jazzed about this. I guess I underestimated the generosity of my fans and the global excitement about this election."
Since much of the world was ecstatic about Obama's victory, most of the front pages are spectacular. Some are in languages and alphabets most Americans rarely see. They feature big, bold headlines and photos.
Tamblyn's original idea to turn them into wall art will take longer than he realized, and he wanted to share the experience with his fans and blog readers. So using about a quarter of the papers (including ones from all five major continents), he took hi-res photos and created a stunning collage titled, "The World Celebrates." His brother Jeff Tamblyn, a filmmaker, shot a video of the process.
Within hours of posting the video and collage, avid Obama volunteers asked Tamblyn to produce the collage as a poster, so they could have a memento of the global reaction to all their hard work. Tamblyn had posters made, but was not prepared for the reaction to that either. He says he can barely keep up with the demand.
"It seems they've become a collectible. Probably because I'm not printing many, and also because this election was so historic."
Now Tamblyn wants to make the newspapers into a traveling exhibit. Because of Obama's history-making win and the fact that newspapers are declining in the internet age, he thinks this may be one of the last elections where a project like this could happen.
He remains awed by and grateful for the generosity of his foreign friends.
"This was a real global community effort," he says. "Because of their excitement and willingness to contribute, this has been hugely gratifying and great fun. It's a real boost for the heart to look at these front pages and see people all over the world feeling better about the US."
To view the video and see the collage, visit this link on Tamblyn's website:
lAbout Greg Tamblyn: