Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011 – Road Maps

It’s no secret that I love cutting up old road maps. Maps are a staple in my art. Old ones are getting a bit hard to find. Sometimes I pass them up due to the price. I have seen old gas station road maps for $8 each at antique malls. Each map is in a plastic sleeve looking precious to justify the price. Some collectors are appalled the way I take to them with scissors and exacto knife. And I don’t pay $8. I go to the next booth down the row and often find the same maps in a stack for a dollar each.

I particularly like maps from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Those were the days when gas stations gave them away for free. It was a time when each oil company had it’s own series printed up. As I use them for collages I get a huge variety of different color palettes, fonts and graphics. In those days many an artist found work doing illustrations for maps. The more recent generic ones from AAA or Rand McNally are dull by comparison.

Today’s piece pays homage to the road map. In all its forms, it is disappearing to be replaced by the GPS and Internet. Just as dated are some of the logos and images of gas being pumped by smiling, uniformed attendants. The Sunoco logo takes me back to a time when my mother pulled the blue Ford Galaxy into the station and asked for, “Two dollar’s worth.” $2!

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