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Wayne Thiebaud

November 15, 1920 - December 25, 2021


American painter and draughtsman Wayne Thiebaud was born in Mesa, Arizona. Thiebaud and his family moved a year later to Southern California, where he was in love with art from the very beginning. When he attended high school, stage design and lighting attracted him immediately. In his early years, Thiebaud had a variety of jobs including creating posters for lobbies of movie theaters, taking an apprenticeship at Walt Disney Studios in the animation department, and serving in the Air Force in the Special Services Unit. Around the time Thiebaud was in the Air Force in the Special Services Unit, he served as their animator and cartoonist. During that time, Thiebaud moved up in the ranks, as per President Reagan’s instructions, to First Air Motion Picture Unit.

Shortly after leaving the Air Force, he began to experiment with painting. Creating works of art that ranged from food to everyday life; he painted everything he saw. Thiebaud painted from what he imagined, his memories, and from life. In his paintings, Thiebaud dabbled with heavy strokes of his brush, the color palette he was using as well as the composition, and the concept of contrasting colors. Occasionally, he used many colors and lines in his works, thus making the pieces appear “like there was a halo around them if the viewer looked close enough.”

Although quite possibly an influencer, Thiebaud was never considered an artist of the Pop Art Movement. He has received a number of awards during his life, and has had many retrospectives, with his art spread throughout various museums, including Sacramento’s Crocker Museum, the Whitney Museum in NYC, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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