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Wayne Thiebaud Essay

Wayne Thiebaud
Cakes by Wayne Thiebaud is warm, bright, patterned,
shows an open composition, bold, simple, curvaceous
and grand. He uses think brush strokes, also known
as impasto, so that we can see the individual
brushstrokes that the artist has painted. The brush
strokes follow the shapes and forms of the cakes,
creating a sense of brightness and lively mood in the
painting. This also matches tightly with the usage of
warm colours, creating a cheerful mood in the
painting. The use of open composition also helps
imagine that the cakes go on forever. This shows a
patterned style.
This painting is about cakes/desserts, which is stated in the title. The subject matter is 3
dimensional and the subject is remembered, as it is a very common thing in an American
Thiebaud was associated with the pop art culture/movement as his most popular artworks were
during the ’60s, and pop art is about popular things around you and cakes were around
Thiebaud at the time. In his life, he experienced the second world war, in which he taught others
to be cartoonists, which kept him out of combat. After winning the war, the US experienced
massive growth in GDP and there were a lot more middle-classed people who could afford
things other than essentials, like cakes, so things like there were very common around him.
Therefore, Thiebaud was inspired by the things around him and drew about the growth of the
society that he was familiar with. I also stated that the artwork had an open composition, which
helps us imagine that the cakes go on forever, which shows that the US at the time had a lot of
money and wealth.
As previously mentioned, the artwork makes you feel cheerful. This is because citizens of the
US were wealthier, people could afford things and the US became what people would think of
as a ‘utopia’. The choice of warm colours also makes people feel happy because they evoke
feelings of warmth and comfort.
Google - 12th Birthday Cake
(Doodle) by Wayne Thiebaud
Cakes and Pies by Wayne
Thiebaud (1995)
Cakes by Wayne Thiebaud