Wayne Thiebaud Revisited

Although known mostly for his sumptuous cakes and desserts (of which I’ve certainly admired), American artist Wayne Thiebaud also made a variety of simple, quiet images of everyday objects. These works in particular are interesting me at the moment.

Wayne Thiebaud- Bow Ties 1990

Wayne Thiebaud, Lipsticks 1964

Wayne Thiebaud- Yellow Dress 1974

I like these simple still lives that depict classically feminine, everyday items. The bow, lipstick, and dress are such blatant signals of gendered femininity- but Thiebaud’s works remind me that they’re just simple, everyday consumer items. I love Thiebaud’s ability to find great beauty in the everyday object, in the homogeneity of mass produced items. He handles them similarly to the way he handles his cakes and desserts. Usually displayed in orderly rows in such a way as to be very deliberately presented to the viewer, these still lives remind us of their existence as mass produced, consumer items. Regardless, Thiebaud’s use of bold brushstrokes, delicious color and eye for design make the resulting images more that the sum of their parts.

Thiebaud’s work, much like his cakes, are endlessly rich with inspiration for me.

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