Thursday, October 4, 2012

hojo's 28 flavors

This new painting, 9"x15" acrylic on wood-- full-size above, detail below-- I based on an old Howard Johnson's road map. Landmark for hungry Americans. There used to be thousands of these restaurants/motels across the US, now there are only two left. There is nothing like painting from a graphic image like this- three colors printed on top of each other- to make me pay close attention to details, simplified as they are. As with many subjects I paint, this is not my own nostalgia I am tapping, but my appreciation of an American ideal. Turning a stop that's "on the way to someplace" into a destination in itself, complete with "delicious food" and 28 flavors of ice cream. I think this map is from the mid-1950's. A plunge into the internet rabbit-hole turned up some good info on its history as well as several references to the Hojo's featured in a Mad Men episode last season. (Unsurprisingly, so much so that I have never felt the need to mention it here, I love this show.) Many variations on the architecture of each location, but nearly always striking in its heyday with the vivid orange roof.

1 comment:

  1. Lake George has had a HoJo ever since I was a kid. I remember getting ice cream there after school with my friend Annie. This summer was the first summer EVER that the restaurant was closed and now there's a For Sale sign in the window. Even if the food was gross, I'm still kinda sad to see it go. End of an era. It will probably get replaced by a Denny's or an Applebees or something.