Julie Grist: The Personalities of Old Phones

by | Aug 30, 2022

Where have all the landlines gone? 

Really, it’s only been about fifteen years that cell phones have become ubiquitous  – and how quickly we’ve lost all the character and personalities of the telephone.

I started a painting series on old phones (oil on board or canvas) and find it’s given me great joy to look at the variety of phones, styles, colors and trends that we lived with for so many years. The Pink Princess line –  how I envied when my best friend’s mother got one next to her bed. The avocado rotary wall phone with the long long cord that could extend all the way into the closet when your boyfriend called. Or the fascination with the push-button Trimline phone that made an early electronic tone we had never heard before.  The colors! The styles! The ring-rings!

If you want a really good laugh, check out the YouTube video of two 17 year olds trying to figure out how to use a rotary phone that I’ve posted below. It will make you smile, and want to hear the smooth whir of the rotary dial as you slowly, methodically wait for the zero to come back around before you dial in the next digit.

I hope you’ll come visit my studio in Ojai for the OSA Fall Tour – open 10am-5pm Saturday – Sunday – Monday, Oct 10-12, 2022.

 

“Party Line”

“Ma Bell”

“On Hold”

“Off the Hook”

“Call Mom”

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