Icy Conditions was inspired by this beautiful Marx truck - I saw this ‘cool’ old toy and had to have it for the studio. And what better to accompany a toy ice truck but delightful wind-up penguins, each taking a turn at sliding down the ice.
To play up the penguin theatrics (and make the ice really glisten), I used a spotlight effect, lighting the scene as if it were a stage. Such lighting produces the dramatic shadows and glossy reflections. In the back, I have a hand-drawn road sign using my favorite yellow sticky notes. The note and the blue tape afford a touch of trompe l’oeil, an optical illusion that makes the eye see a painted object as if it were really there.
The truck was made by Louis Marx and Company, a toy manufacturer that operated from 1919 to 1978. The truck featured in Icy Conditions is c. 1940. The tin penguins are from the 1930s.