A good window into someone’s soul is their screen saver/wallpaper. You’re looking at mine. I don’t reveal my innermost secrets everyday; except, of course, all over the pages of my Auto-biography. This ad crystallizes my psychedelic experience as a seven-year old arriving in NYC from Austria on a hot summer night in 1960. You can read it here. But let me just say there really was a 1960 Pontiac parked at the curb as we stumbled out of the International Terminal after our twenty-four hour trip.
The Grand Prix CC reminded me of all these wonderful Fitzpatrick and Kaufman print ads that graced our optimistic early sixties. They worked as a duo; Art Fitzpatrick rendered the cars, wider than reality by a long shot, and Van Kaufman filled in the backdrops and the happy people. Does this seem like a different world?
Wide Track Pontiac’s just got that much wider, as the two master painters took on Pontiac’s new image with a vengeance!
They captured the times perfectly, as long as those times lasted. Their style was still working fairly well onto the middle of the decade, like these GP ads of 1963 and 1965.
By the latter part of the decade, their version of surrealism wasn’t working quite as well anymore, despite the counter-culture’s embrace of a new version. Ads had to become more realistic, so you’ll note that the the exaggerated widths are out by about 1969.
This ’69 GTO ad even featured snow!
The FK style petered out about this time; photo-realism and new photography techniques ruled the seventies. But the fact that Pontiac’s golden decade corresponded with the legendary art work of Fitzpatrick and Kaufman is probably no mere coincidence.