Wayne Thiebaud´s Edible Paintings
These days in California many great chefs are called artists. Their creations are photographed, posted on Instagram and greeted in awe in faraway countries. Oishi desu ne!
Before the high-tech transmission of highly delectable treats, there were Wayne Thiebaud´s beautiful, carefully painted cakes, slices of pie, candy apples, and lollipops. Nostalgic pieces, boldly painted with soft pastels, in oil on canvas. Low-tech. The opposite of a snap shot. Still lives, candy for the eyes. Solid art works, meant to last a lifetime, and to be passed on to future generations.
The colors are what is most striking - or soothing. Wayne Thiebaud must have had in mind what Barbie has in her wardrobe. The softest pinks, lavenders, blues. Even his lemon meringue cake looks like Barbie´s hair color, before American Dolls invented the doll hair salon. Thiebaud carefully assembled and blended these scrumptious colors so that the viewer´s taste buds tingle.
Nothing grand, and dull, and fading like the high tech industries most celebrated unicorns. Only the colors of these unicorns in toy stores remind us of what is really sweet and moving.
Thiebaud painted Dark Peppermint Lollipop with oil on canvas in 1984. Bold structural forms and brilliant colors on a lavender background with the iconic shadow under the object.
Wayne Thiebaud who lives in Sacramento has always had a presence in the Bay Area. He neither wants to be labeled as a pop artist - he dislikes Warhol´s almost flat and mechanical paintings - nor as a commercial. He traveled to New York in the 60s, showing his works to galleries up and down Madison Avenue. During his visit he met Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline who influenced his work as much as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.