Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's a Bolles Bolles Bolles World!

This was supposed to be a Bolles free week. I'm in Stockholm, doing work related stuff, so my self-imposed rule was no late night blogging. Especially with the jet lag. But no Bolles for me is pretty much like trying to go cold turkey. The Bolles radar runs 24/7 and when I saw those Shirley Jones photos it starting pinging as if a flock of geese was strafing the control tower at O'Hare. These sorts of associations arrive unbidden and there is no option, they simply have to be shared. Plus, I figured that just one little post wouldn't count.

And so this afternoon I was marching Kungsgatan street in central Stockholm (no strolling allowed in Sweden) on the lookout for one of my favorite coffee shops ("Wayne's" Is there anyone in Sweden actually named Wayne? For some reason I think not). I blithely walked right past the place, which is not at all easy to miss and turned to find this poster taped up on a window. I was dumbfounded. What was a Bolles girl doing in downtown Sweden? And how had I of all people, managed to find it. There seems to be no escaping the truth, it's an Enoch Bolles world.


Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Wow, that is really cool. And old fogey that I am, I'm still amazed that you could instantly share that around the world.

Alan Wrobel said...

Ha! Beauty!! I wonder how much royalty the Bolles family got from that poster?!? I wonder if Film Fun was distributed elsewhere besides The U.S. and Great Britain? Check the book shops over there Jack!

Jack R said...

I agree how wild all this is. In fact I didn't have a camera so I asked the person I was with to take the shot and he emailed it to me. If I knew what I was doing I could Google map the image so anyone could find it. In Sweden you can buy bus passes on your phone and you just show the driver the screen. Of course, my cell doesn't even work here so I feel like a hick.

Alan, I thought the same thing, finding a stack of Film Funs in an old shop for a Kroner (14 cents) each. Maybe that will be my next blog entry (I wish!).

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Looking at that photo again, I have to say that I think most people probably see the old images just as cheeky nostalgia, no different than that strongman there. I've seen some Bolles images used for casino billboards and other frivolities, removing the original context and inventing slicker and (ick) greasier venues. On the streets, probably not one person in ten thousand could identify particular art by a particular artist, but Bolles' images still thrive as icons of frivolity of an earlier time. Reaching global iconic status is something an artist can't plan for, but very cool to achieve.

Jack R said...

It is curious that Bolles' images often are used for this sort of thing, moreso than some of his peers who did work of a similar nature. But that is one of the reasons his work appeals to me. It seems more retro (yes, I admit it's an overused term) than dated. I also agree with your reaction to the more unappealing 'applications' of his art, all out of context of course.