Wandering into a department store or the grocery store or even my favorite store, I'm always struck by the myriad choices I have. I appreciate having 30 tee-shirts in each of three sizes that might fit me (my size, one smaller and one larger, you know?) I expect that the buyers for the store know how many will probably sell this month, so I don't think about the extravagance or overkill that so much product represents. I can usually choose fairly thoughtlessly, pay for the merchandise and leave.
At work though, I'm often struck by the endless "giftware" that I work with...today, it was baskets, Made in China to look Early American...yikes!
Each rectangular basket had a small piece of masonite wired to the front of it with one of these scenes:
(I removed them so the baskets would be more useable.)
I tried to figure out if they were prints, or if some poor souls had to sit and paint the same ugly buildings thousands of times. I can't tell, really--there are differences in shading and execution on each little board, but it could be only slapdash printing techniques.
The thing that caught my eye, though, was the tree to the left of the church (and to the right of the red house)--is that Early Chinese-American?
I only hope someone had a little fun designing what they hoped would appeal to us...or that they did it, tongue in cheek, to see if we'd buy it anyway...OR, that they did it cynically to prove that Chinese art could "show through" even something as silly as this.