I Love You with My Ford
Average: 5 (1 vote)
ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

There’s something so sexual and definitively '60s about this painting by James Rosenquist, a leading dude of the American Pop art movement. 

Rosenquist started his career painting warehouses, and later billboards. His love for depicting metallic material, the enormous scale of his work and the ways in which his compositions are reminiscent of advertising can be attributed to these past experiences.  Take all those elements and add a little bit of sex appeal and imagery from popular culture and the domestic environment, and you’ve got quite the interesting mix of ingredients.

The top register shows the gleaming chrome of a bitchin’ retro Ford.  Muscle cars are the ultimate machismo status symbol, and the hard metal of the grill seems decidedly phallic, especially when considering the title of the piece, I Love You with my Ford. The center panel shows a close up of a woman’s face.  Her lover’s ear grazes her mouth as he kisses her neck and she shuts her eyes and parts her lips, clearly enjoying the ministrations. Pretty steamy.

But the bottom section really makes this painting for me.  I love how Rosenquist has taken a dish that reminds us of quaint TV dinners at home with the family and somehow makes it seem so naughty. The noodles, drenched in tomato sauce, seem to come alive, wriggling and squirming like the woman above in the throes of passion. They are a textural opposite to the rigid lines of the car above, perhaps as a referent to the anatomical counterpoint. (Hint: the vagina!) Food porn indeed.