Thursday, April 26, 2012

Strangely, ANOTHER mid-century(ish?) painting!

I've had a long few weeks and I haven't been posting as much as usual, but I'm excited to show you what I found tonight!
I've been cutting back on thrifting due to drowning in inventory and a bit of a thaw in sales while everybody's busy enjoying Spring weather (I hope that's what it is!), but today was the Last Wednesday of the Month, and if you're a regular, you may know this is something of a thrifting feast day here at 2ndhand Moon.  A day when I simply have no choice but to stop by Value Village, and today it's like my Fairy Godthrifter saved all the best stuff for me!  Probably most impressive is this quite impressive addition to the "art collection" (which I showed you last week):

Huge (as wide as my car's interior - I almost didn't get it home!) oil painting - an oddly people-free Venetian scene.
With the orangey-yellowy-brown sky, I kind of have to assume a post-apocalyptic intent here, don't you think?
Signed Van Gaard
A little close-up detail.

So of course I had to find out a little about my new post-apocalyptic Venetian sofa painting!  A little chat with good ol' Google taught me this:

Van Gaard is not a real person, but a name used by Vanguard Studios.  From Artillery Magazine:

"In the late 1960s, Andy Warhol had glamorous lackeys silkscreen his canvases for him and called his studio The Factory. In the art-boom '80s, Mark Kostabi set up an art sweatshop where struggling East Village painters made Kostabi-esque works under his not-so-watchful eye. But in 1965, Lee Reynolds Burr and his Vanguard Studios were there first. His original "art factory" in Beverly Hills produced more painted canvases bearing one signature than any artist in history, but none of the artworks for sale were actually painted by him."

The way Lee Burr describes it himself in a statement posted on his website (Burr is apparently still alive and painting in his mid-70s), he had about 10 "staff artists" that painted these pictures over silkscreened guides printed on the canvas, or in my case board.

Apparently there were a handful of signatures used for this artwork, including Lee Reynolds, Lee Burr, Van Gaard and Stuart, which is the first name of Burr's brother and business partner.  Further googling for images turned up lots and lots and lots of paintings with these various signatures, but (until I publish this post, anyway), none that look like this one, which makes me happy.  I have no problem with the idea that they produced these in quantity for the regular consumer (you'll know that from the rest of my collection!), but it's nice that this is not the most common one around.  I imagine the size of it would have kept it from being too mass-produced.  Not every room can handle a monstrosity of these proportions, and not every psyche could bear up under the sight of Venice glowing with green/orange radiation, but I bed those who could were some hardcore individuals, no?  Anyway, I love it, and I love how insane the (I'm guessing here) late 60s/early 70s must have been to produce such a thing.  If you feel the same way, and have a room that can handle it, let me know if you're interested!  If not, it will no doubt eventually find it's way to Kenrick Antique Mall, booth 78 (once I'm done admiring it myself).

More of the Last Wednesday treasures, coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. I have this exact same picture. I love it. It hangs above ny fireplace. I purchased it for $45 dollars at a little antique store in Sacramento, California.