I recently watched a beer commercial during a break in a hockey game. It showed a horse running down country roads, streets in small towns, children raising the Stars and Stripes, a firehouse, men shaking hands. It ended with a father and son standing on a porch. The sun had begun to set, and one handed a beer to the other. They smiled reluctantly as if too shy to fully acknowledge the love they felt for each other. They sipped their beer and looked out over their land. The horse ran by…
I thought that it might be interesting to see if a sales formula leaning hard on nostalgia, patriotism, and old fashioned hokum could be applied to another American product. I tried Painting, and failed of course. But failure can be funny:
This is the story of paintings made in the heart of America, in a community where a gallery contract is a bond for the artist (but not so much for the dealer).
Thomas Hart Benton
These are the paintings made for those who took on the challenge of defeating ennui, who found an opportunity to defray the tax costs of inherited wealth, who forged a new hope for a cleverly invested future.
These paintings were made for a generation willing to sip wine, speculate over risky masters (the ones who stubbornly outlive their most valuable periods), to remember a time when it was easier to choose a bankable artist from amongst the desperate, paint-spattered rabble.
This is a story bigger than painting…This is the story of ART COUNTRY.