What always surprises me is the multitude of ways that a community can make money. They pick a theme, develop the tourism, the artists and free spirits arrive and take kitsch to a whole new level (and not necessarily an elevated level).
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not being snooty about Tourist Art. We by it, own it, and show it off proudly. But I will call it out for the capitalistic venture that it truly is.
Think about it . . .
There is no better way to bottle up those feel good memories than in a postcard or magnet that pictures the scene exactly as you saw it (well minus the tourists, grime, long lines, cars, traffic, high prices, and uppity sales people).
Every city has it’s tourist art. Even the small little tadpole city’s have some local artist that specializes in local photography, metal work or bunt cake at the local bake sale. It’s the big cities and local mecca’s that take tourist art to it’s pinnacle level. You can’t go to the top of the Empire State Building with out walking through a shop with miniature Empire State Buildings that have NY NY emblazoned boldly on the side (& made in China on the bottom). San Francisco is know for it’s sweatshirt sales because every good Midwestern is convinced that it is always 80 degrees and sunny in California, especially in San Francisco. Chicago has Sears Tower (I mean Willis Tower). Seattle has the space needle. Paris has la Tour Eiffel, London wouldn’t be the same without Lady Di or Big Ben.
Truly, I am not trying to be cynical about Tourist Art. I love the pure capitalism that springs forth in these places. Shop owners and goods makers each working to share their own little view of how they see their city. But what I really love is seeing something truly unique shared with the visitor.
So why am I talking about Tourist Art???? I am feeling the need to create a bit on my own. I fell in love with the Bottle Chandeliers and various wine cask decor. There were rocking chairs (equipped with a wine holder). Candelabra’s and tacky wine cork screws. Blah Blah Blah. Lot’s of it. But As much as it all looked wonderful. I don’t want to bring home someone else’s idea of “branded Napa”. I want to make it mine.
So . . . Stay tuned for a new creation in the making.