The imagination of David Weidman

Welcome!! This is Blog Post #1 from Angela at Mid Mod Flair!

As an artist I get inspiration from almost anywhere. My artistic sense flourishes when I see a unique flower, a fun pattern or a piece of art from one of my favorite artists.

David Weidman is one of my very favorites! His whimsical style, his noted color combinations and his silly animals and characters developed out of his first career, working in animation in the late 1950s to early 1960s. Weidman’s work in animation was not highly recognized, as the animation studios where he was employed were generally fast paced environments, he did mostly backgrounds and in-betweens instead of the more prominent work developing characters, and he rarely got credited; however he did make use of the experience in the work that followed...

This butterfly is one of my favorites!

It was in the early 1960s, David Weidman began his own print business, and that was when the magic truly happened!

His technique and innovation got him the recognition he deserved as an artist. From the way he developed his own style, to his own unique practice of working with the print medium, he began being recognized by many other well-known and more prominent printers. They wanted to know his secret. Said Weidman of his own work, “You never saw a printer take prints off the press in the middle of a run, while the ink was still wet, start playing with it with crumpled-up newspaper, or folding the print, or taking two prints and putting them together and then apart; or printing on damp paper. Printers just don’t do that. I did a lot of things to integrate the medium and the art.” The results were nothing short of fantastic!

Getting into making posters was Weidman’s next venture with the print-art medium, and to him this was a simpler process, as he did not use as many passes of color when printing. The message that came across in his posters, rather than the art itself, was the main idea he wanted to convey. The 1960s was a great time for various messages on posters and Weidman’s observations of the times and the unrest that was happening around him gave him great political and social fodder.

After creating beautiful print work for more than a decade, Weidman stopped due to the exhausting task it had become. He sold his business to his niece and moved on to work in ceramics, but his print work allotted him the means of support for him and his family and gave him time to work in this new medium.

You may have seen some of David Weidman’s work in a cartoon made in the 1950s/60s, but didn’t know it, or maybe you saw his print work on a poster growing up…

Oh, and did I mention Weidman’s work showed up on my favorite TV show of all time, “Mad Men”! His work was seen in Peggy’s office:

Peggy, between two Weidmans

I truly love his color and composition, the hard-edged lines, the overlapping designs and colors, and the unusual yet appealing subject matter.

I first observed and appreciated his work while spotting his prints in shops in different parts of California where I grew up. I’ve driven by his house a few times and I always thought if I drove by I’d meet him someday. It didn’t happen.

In 2014 David Weidman passed away at the age of 93. He left behind his unique print designs, a gang of colorful characters in his prints and ceramics, and, of course, many fans of his work.

Thank you Mr. Weidman for your incredibly inspirational work!

Angela Kumbera

*Mid Mod Flair*

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