Wayne Thiebaud  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Wayne Thiebaud (born November 15, 1920) is an American painter whose most famous works are of cakes, pastries, boots, toilets, toys and lipsticks. His last name is pronounced "Tee-bo." He is associated with the Pop art movement because of his interest in objects of mass culture, although his works, executed during the fifties and sixties, slightly predate the works of the classic pop artists. Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included in his work.

Work

Thiebaud is best known for his paintings of production line objects found in diners and cafeterias, such as pies and pastries. Many wonder if he spent time working in the food industry, and in fact he did. As a young man in Long Beach, he worked at a cafe named Mile High and Red Hot, where "Mile High" was ice cream and "Red Hot" was a hot dog.

He was associated with the Pop art painters because of his interest in objects of mass culture, however, his works, executed during the fifties and sixties, slightly predate the works of the classic pop artists, suggesting that Thiebaud may have had an influence on the movement. Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included in his work.

In addition to pastries, Thiebaud has painted landscapes, streetscapes, and popular characters such as Mickey Mouse. His recent paintings such as Sunset Streets (1985) and Flatland River (1997) are noted for their hyper realism, and are in some ways similar to Edward Hopper's work, who was fascinated with mundane scenes from everyday American life.

In his painting, he focuses on the commonplace in a way that suggests irony and objective distance from his subjects. He also makes a point of keeping an independent distance from the New York School.

Thiebaud considers himself not an artist, but a painter. He is a voracious reader and is known for reading poetry to his students. His favorite poet is William Carlos Williams.

Selected works:

  • 1961 Pies, Pies, Pies
  • 1962 Around the Cake
  • 1962 Bakery Counter
  • 1963 Cakes
  • 1963 Girl with Ice Cream Cone
  • 1964 Man Sitting - Back View
  • 1966 Powder With Puff
  • 1967-68 Coloma Ridge
  • 1977 24th Street Intersection
  • 1981 Hill Street (Day City)
  • 1993 Apartment View
  • 1996 Farm Channel
  • 1999 Reservoir




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Wayne Thiebaud" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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