Look, I don’t know anything about Art, but I do know what I like. And I like biscuits, especially ones that come in fancy tins. Flash bicky tins have been with us for more than a century. Often they simply depict the brand’s name or perhaps a litho’d portrait of the Royals or a random dignitary (there is more than one Winston Churchill tin out in the world). I am here to argue that the great biscuit tins come with a lid that reproduces great art. It’s a marriage baked in heaven.
Although I am very impressed with this embossed reproduction (above) of the detail from Rembrandt’s The Night Watch (1950s for NV Biscuitfabriek), I favour something more toned down like this Louis Garin tin (below) from Bicuiterie St Michel (also 1950s).
Arnott’s Bicuits Limited has had plenty of Australia artists on its tins like Maynard Waters, Brian Baigent and Pro Hart (top of this post) especially during the 1970s and ‘80s. I believe now is the time for them to get contempo and cook up an appealing matrix of rising dough and social media. For example, how about slapping the annual Archibald prize winner on a tin?
Even though we’re not telepathically linked, somehow, I can hear you putting the question: Do we necessarily want to see Nigel Milsom’s 2015 Archibald winning portrait of barrister Charles Waterstreet gracing the top of a special edition Assorted Creams tin, Phil? I mean it’s rather foreboding an image–it’s not exactly biscuit tin-able, is it?
Well, if there’s anything I have learnt from the BBC’s Fake or Fortune, it’s that in Art and Cultural circles, it is no rare thing for a group of people, who regard themselves as experts, to gather about a table in a room, in closed session and pronounce the authenticity, or excellence, or award-worthiness, of a cultural artifact.
So what I’m saying is this: if, in future, an Arnott’s Biscuit Tin Art Selection Committee deems any painting to be biscuit tin-able, then by the expert power invested in them by themselves, biscuit tin-able that artwork shall be.
Even if we don’t like it, Art will be the winner and we can always push down any negative feelings with a delicious mouthful of Arnott’s Monte Carlos.