Just last week, I finally got to travel again to California and the areas of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. As I usually do when I visit this area I made a trip to the Laguna Beach Art Museum once again. It's a small art museum but I've found over the years that they have some fantastic exhibits. They specialize in California artists and I've learned about some very talented painters and sculptors by viewing some of their wonderful exhibits. This trip was no exception because I was introduced to Wayne Thiebaud whose more commercial work I recognized immediately. However this show was dedicated to paintings he's done over the past seven years and the subject is all about clowns.
Dancing ClownsWhat makes these works even more special is that Mr. Thiebaud is 101 years old! Back when he was a boy growing up in Long Beach California, he sometimes helped out behind the scenes at Ringling Brothers Circus in exchange for tickets. He became fascinated with the costumes, faces and antics of the clowns and these paintings almost 90 years later are based on those memories.
Clown on Fire
Clown Behind Bars
In 1962, an exhibition of his work consisting of the cakes, ice creams and desserts was made in New York City and the show got rave reviews making his name known in art worlds and giving him a solid footing as an artist.
Clown and Beast
Clown with Suitcase
Also included in the exhibit was this self portrait of the artist. He looks like a very happy-go-lucky fellow with a great sense of humor. I'm so glad I got to see this collection of his works. I was smiling the whole time I was viewing this show. Reading that he was born in 1920, also put me in awe of his continuing talent and work. There are not too many centenarian artists around.