Artwork Title: American Gothic Parody Regan - Artist Name: Alfred Gescheidt

American Gothic Parody Regan

Alfred Gescheidt, 1983

4 x 6 inch
Many of Gescheidt's images were published postcards in the 1980s, working with the American Postcard Co. An early success was a parody of Grant Wood's American Gothic with Ronald and Nancy Reagan as the farmer and his daughter. According to the card's publisher, it had sold 1.5 million copies by 1982. American Gothic was a favorite and continuing theme of Gescheidt, who had inserted the faces of political opponents George Wallace and Shirley Chisholm into the picture in 1970, calling the result Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows. [] "I never dreamed I'd be doing postcards," said Alfred Gescheidt. The sentiment is understandable. After all, postcards are a relatively New medium for the 55-year-old photographer who's celebrating his 30Th anniversary as a professional. What a celebration it is! Gescheidt's satirical view of the Regans as seen on postcards, and now posters, has popularized the photographer's work. His Regan pictures even have received the People magazine treatment. He's being approached by people with all sorts of offers. Gescheidt affably blames his new-found trendiness on George Dudley, owner of the American Postcard Co. "He's been a commerical photographer forever," said Dudley… I met Alfred and flipped over his stuff. The Regan series started with the 'American Gothic thing', showing Ronald and Nancy Reagan. We came out with it before the election, I figured that if Reagan lost, the card still would be a collector's item. So far, we've sold about one and a half million of them. It's still selling, but it's not as popular as it was because Regan's popularity is going down. The public wants something a bit more satirical." "Alfred Gescheidt's work is creative and commercially accessible. I think it's brilliant!" Gescheidt is really pleased with the postcard medium. "I found," he said, "a format for doing satire, which I really love to do." …"I used to teach, and I told my students that the world works in reverse. If you want something badly enough, you'll never get it. If you couldn't care less, they come to your door." [Popular Photography, Vol. 89, nr. 5
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