Checker Pop Art

Copyright 2016 - Checker Car Club of America, Inc.

As an art lover and Checker fan, I always ask art gallery staff if they have any works that include Checker cars. Such was the case when I walked into the new Bowery (New York City) gallery of POP International.

Kevin Frest was kind enough to tell me about a Canadian artist, Boudro (yes, he goes only by his last name), and then send me some samples of his work.

Boudro - Photo Courtesy Pop International

Boudro's bio includes the following Checker related information: "Through yellow cabs, vibrant colors full of energy, and a comic strip style, his works illustrate the feverish atmosphere that characterizes the Big Apple."

The puzzle piece here gives a NY City Checker Cab a prominent position in the composition. It's not clear if Wonder Woman or Mickey Mouse ever rode in a Checker, but it's nice to make believe that they did. "Where to Mickey?" "Take me to the Chocolate Factory."

Ms. Marvel by Boudro - Reproduction Courtesy Pop International

As you can see, the Checker design is somewhat stylized but there is no mistaking what make the cab happens to be.

Many of Boudro's works make use of the puzzle piece design although (as Kevin Frest told me) they don't necessarily fit together.

His biography goes on to say that "Recognized by his signature interpretation of the New York City yellow cab, Boudro’s art consists mostly of the application of caricature, cartoon and the ubiquitous American pop-art style. He uses many post-modern techniques like collage and often refers to historic art movements such as the surrealists and the minimalists. His works are replete with Pop Culture icons and parodies publicity and advertising. His paintings are visually stimulating, joyful and playfully make a commentary on the world. The work is accessible without succumbing to superficiality."

Mosaic by Boudro - Courtesy Pop International

In contrast to the puzzle pieces, the Mosaic above captures references to things and institutions that define the New York experience to visitors and residents alike. Note the Checker Cab at the bottom right corner! Some of the mosaic pieces (if not all) will mean something to the observer. For example, while some people will wonder about "Cafe Wha?," others will immediately recognize it as a Greenwich Village music club. It has seen artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix and is still going strong.

Boudro's works are available from Pop International. Their phone number is +1 212 533 4262. Ask for Kevin Frest and tell him that you learned about Boudro here. You may not get a discount, but you will certainly get star treatment!

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