This series of cigar box paintings are inspired by the folk art of Cuba and America of the 1950’s. Cigar boxes really drove the art form of folk art. The paintings are made either using some or all of their components, the simple wooden cigar box a practice that goes back to the 1860's.
Cigars had to be sold in wooden boxes of a certain size, and once they were sold, you couldn’t reuse the packaging. The cigar manufacturers were actually box manufacturers. To sell the cigars, they felt they would use fine wood, because it would enhance the flavor and the presentation. They used fine woods, like mahogany and cedar. Once the cigars were sold, these nice boxes were discarded or sold for a few pennies. This meant they were a great resource for artists and with brightly coloured kitsch paintings of cool places and naked women depicted in Cuba and other cigar producing islands. Cigar boxes are still used today by artists as making shift painting boxes and easels. I have subverted some of the folk tradition with paintings of works from art history and Yorkshire. •