Wayne Thiebaud… a love affair
This week, my daughter Vivienne and I took a detour from our errands around town and followed my stomach to Lark bakery for a cupcake.
The cakes and cupcakes at Lark are both beautiful and profoundly delicious, especially in my humble opinion the icebox and flourless chocolate… but on to the point of this post, food or more specifically food porn. After enjoying my treat, I noticed a tray filled with miniature cupcakes all topped with berries. They sat there neatly lined up, in several rows with a beautiful, long shadow articulating the shape of each raspberry. I pulled out my little point and shoot and took a few photographs.
Later on I thought about what drew me to the image and remembered one of my favorite painters, Wayne Thiebaud.I’ve been a fan of Thiebaud’s paintings of food, San Francisco city scapes, and even his portraits since I discovered him years ago. Long before people started to document everything they eat, drink and do with a smart phone, Thiebaud was making images of food that were way ahead of their time. Many are of mundane things like a cake in a diner or several lollipops on a counter, yet his paintings have a real depth and presence. I love the way he uses color in unconventional and subtle ways, like making an afternoon shadow bright blue instead of a golden brown. Oddly enough, his paintings never really look like something you’d want to eat, yet they are beautifully constructed and so satisfying to look at. Who says you can’t eat a lipstick?