Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"My! What Toast": Art that Makes us Happy

We sometimes shop the local antique malls and flea markets, where I am usually looking for one sort of thing and Rosemary is looking for something completely different. But once in a while we find something we both fall in love with, like this Kew-Bee Bread painting, with a guy who looks like the Monopoly millionaire.

My! What Toast! Sometimes I think that we should buy original art more often--we could use a few more things on the walls--but (frankly) I don't feel like I know anything about art. But this monocle-wearing guy is so delighted with his toast, and the colors are so bright and happy, that we knew right away that it would make us happy to see it hanging on our wall every day, and it only cost a couple days' salary-equivalent. It almost feels like the money can buy us a little happiness--or at least a happy feeling now and then.

I was especially happy to buy this painting because we already had two other examples of commercial art that we bought while we were in Colorado, two slightly earlier automobile advertising paintings, in awful 1970s avocado mattes that I haven't gotten around to replacing, because a decent frame will cost more than the paintings themselves.

I've always loved the Maxfield Parrish-esque look of the Buick painting, but the 1920 Eight-Cylinder King painting shows a group of women, including the driver, conquering the Rocky Mountains in their stylish frocks and bonnets. "Most Powerful Car in the World."

Just our luck, I guess, that all three paintings have wide, horizontal compositions, about three feet long in each case, which makes them a bit difficult to hang on the wall. But three makes a collection, I guess, and good things come in threes. And maybe these aren't real art, since they so clearly do come under the heading of commercial illustration. But they are real to us.


Michael said...

I don't know about the art, but I think we should all take a cue from the Kew-Bee gentleman and express our pleasure in the small things more often: not just "My! What toast!" but "Heavens, such a pleasant Butterfinger! or "Gracious! The sunrise is extraordinary!" or, for me, "Ahh, that was a satisfying bowel movement!"

Historiann said...

I LOVE those. Yes, the King ad is the best, but Mr. Toast would make a great companion in your kitchen or breakfast nook.