Artist
Wayne Thiebaud
American artist

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Wayne Thiebaud
American artist
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Birth Date

November 15, 1920

cpepper's picture

Contributor

Wayne Thiebaud grew up in Southern California, where he got goofy and apprenticed at the Disney Studios making "in-betweens" for animation at $14 per week.

He also worked as an artist making films for the United States Army, and in food service at a Long Beach cafe. These jobs may explain his why he likes to paint "everyday" objects such as lipstick, lollipops and hot dogs, adding fluorescent hued shadows made them stand out.

Thiebaud is humble, humorous and a great cook. He is well-read and enjoyed printmaking and reading poetry to his students at UC Davis, and he played tennis well into his seventies. In other words, and not to knock Vincent van Gogh, but as a totally well-adjusted human, Thiebaud did not fit the tortured artist stereotype.

When his dealer, Allan Stone, saw Thiebaud's work for the first time, he sent him away in disdain. That night, Stone had multiple dreams about the colorful paintings Thiebaud had shown him, and decided it meant he needed a show. The show sold out before it opened. I guess sometimes dreams do come true. 

jtucker's picture

Contributor

Believe it or not, Wayne Thiebaud is actually quite slender.

One would assume that when one spends the majority of their time interacting with cakes and pies that they would start packing on the pounds. Clearly Wayne Thiebaud either has an immense amount of self-control or I need the name of his personal trainer.

Thiebaud never thought he would be a fine artist. He started his artistic career at the Walt Disney Studios where he created images of Goofy, Pinocchio, and Jiminy Cricket and made a whopping $14 dollars a week! After that, he worked as an art teacher in the US Air Force. He always thought he was going to be a commercial artist working in advertisement. Fortunately, Wayne gave up on his dreams of making a practical living and moseyed on over to the dark side of fine art. And boy is the art world happy about this one.

Thiebaud's work is all about celebrating life's simple pleasures. If looking at one of his pie or gum ball machine paintings doesn’t bring out the joy of childhood in you, then man, I don’t know what will. Many people consider Thiebaud to be a pop artist because of his proclivity to paint images of the everyday, but he was working in this sphere far before artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein brought the movement to stardom. He's kind of like the hipster of the 1960’s pop art world. He was doing it way before it was cool.

Thiebaud's artwork just brings out that warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside, so it is no surprise that his paintings have fetched as much as $1.7 million in auction. Maybe money does buy happiness! While I may never be able to have a Thiebaud of my own, I can settle for looking at his stuff on Sartle, in the company of a nice, fat piece of chocolate pie. So maybe it’s a good thing I can’t afford one...I think I would be subliminally compelled to chow down on way too many desserts. 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud (/ˈtb/ TEE-boh; born November 15, 1920) is an American painter widely known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects—pies, lipsticks, paint cans, ice cream cones, pastries, and hot dogs—as well as for his landscapes and figure paintings. Thiebaud is associated with the pop art movement because of his interest in objects of mass culture, although his early 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.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Wayne Thiebaud.