Cathleen McGuigan on "Wayne Thiebaud Is Not a Pop Artist"

Cathleen McGuigan on "Wayne Thiebaud Is Not a Pop Artist"

Journalist Cathleen McGuigan covers art, architecture, design and culture. Her latest piece for Smithsonian profiles artist Wayne Thiebaud. (David Berridge)

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What was the biggest surprise?

I think the biggest surprise to me was how much he values all kinds of art. He just feels like the act of human creation has something worthy in it. He’s been known to buy art at the Goodwill. I don’t think he gets so many ideas for his own work from paintings like that, but he values the actual act of art no matter how amateurish it is.

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

I’ve always been a person who thought it was more fun to go to a museum and really spend time looking at three or four or five paintings than spend two hours exhausting yourself looking at 50 paintings. The idea that you really look at things very hard and try to figure out how the painter created an effect or an illusion can really enrich the experience of looking at art. I think that he is really an advocate of looking, really looking and seeing. I hope people come away with some appreciation for that.

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