Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tretchikoff

So Tretchikoff died yesterday.

chinesegirl
Everyone can spot a Tretchikoff. Green ladies were ubiquitous in the 50’s. Persons of taste (like moi) used to scoff at them. I don’t know when they turned into Kitsch. Apparently Tretchy didn’t approve - he wanted to be taken seriously like Leonardo.

Wayne Hemingway (a big Tretchikoff fan) said: "He achieved everything that Andy Warhol stated he wanted to do but could never achieve because of his coolness." Interesting idea Wayne.

My mum’s favourite sayings were ‘Ornaments just gather dust’ and ‘If in doubt chuck it out’. I discussed her views in my Mothers’ day post.

So, I hold my minimalist mum totally responsible for my passion for green ladies, plastic tomatoes and Mickey mice/mouses, which developed in the eighties.


I struggled out of bed on Sunday mornings to raid car boot sales where the traders (who didn’t do irony) couldn’t believe that I would give them money for this stuff. My favourite book was ‘Kitsch in Sync’ - A consumer’s guide to bad taste.

Polychromatic plaster ladies decorated my kitchen along with plastic pineapples and rotating mirror balls. Twenty ducks flew up my staircase to meet pink flamingos on the way down. Worst of all, I had a tin tray decorated with a picture of Her Majesty.

However, the ‘piece de resistance’ was in the smallest room - a veritable throne room. The walls were vivid turquoise and proudly displayed my entire Tretchikoff collection - printed on the original hardboard with the traditional scratched white frame. Mum would cross her legs and wait until she went home.

ultra-kitsch-300
In the nineties, it all went mainstream and loads of catalogues appeared selling lava lamps and Carmen Miranda tin trays. I got bored, sold up and moved to my white cube.

But my green ladies are still lurking in the bottom of my cupboard waiting to return.
KAZ

13 Comments:

Blogger Anxious said...

How do you decide which sentences to emphasise with bold or different colours? It intrigues me...

I reckon you could sneak a couple of green ladies out - do you really live in a white cube?

5:09 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Anx: It's really to give a bit of contrast to keep the attention. Comes from years of worksheet writing I suppose.
Yes - my tiny one bed flat is white and minimalist. I may be making a change soon - watch this space.

8:21 pm  
Blogger Gareth said...

Kitsch in Sync somehow reminded me of a discount shop in Walthamstow called Kin-cheap took me ages that a fout letter prefix was absent.

9:15 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Gareth: Er - FUC ... 3 letters? Great name, Wayne Hemingway would love it.

10:04 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

Thanks for posting about this. I haven't been keeping up with the news this week so I had no idea. I'm an admirer of Tretchikoff's work.

11:08 pm  
Blogger stitchwort said...

Strange how the painters who sell masses of stuff are always sneered at by the critics, and the stuff the critics rave about most people wouldn't have in the house at all.
(Verification - eilyfilx - new genre of film?)

8:47 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

mj:Welcome back, I'll be over there in a minute.

stitchwort: My fave Henri Matisse got rich, Van Gogh never sold a pic in his lifetime except to his brother.
eilyfilx? Sounds a bit slimy.

9:23 am  
Blogger Lubin said...

Oh what a shame. The world has lost a great talent! Hopefully it will inspire a kitsch revival.

9:35 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Hi Lubin: Sounds Great!
Back to the car boot sales and goodbye white cube!

11:12 am  
Blogger Betty said...

Wayne Hemingway is a big fan of what he calls Big Eyed Art (well, it might be generally known by that name for all I know). Those paintings bring back memories of my relatives' 1970's living rooms. We were a pretty lowbrow lot (and I still am).

I wonder who it was that painted the picture of the crying toddler that was always in Woolworths for years and years?

1:55 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Betty: Well just like Elton John did the Woolworths Embassy records, the crying toddler was probably by Damian Hirst.

2:53 pm  
Blogger Anxious said...

*waves at Gareth*

Gareth! I grew up in Walthamstow - I remember Kincheap. Took me ages to work it out too...

5:15 pm  
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