Frey’s, The Rite Spot, Birthplace of the Cheeseburger, Pasadena, California falls short of a perfect example of “blending and balancing of Arcadian and Utopian elements” (2000 McClung). Unfortunately, at first, a person who is just learning about Arcadia and Utopia, could mistake this picture as being a perfect example, but after further education, begins to understand the difference. This painting leans more toward Arcadian elements rather than Utopia because the landscape is hardly affected, and the architecture is far from futuristic. The buildings look as though they were dropped from the sky intact. In saying this, I would like to make my point in referring to the California dream of creating a new product that would quickly become popular. In the painting, there are several different “projects” if you will that are in the beginning stage, Arrowhead water, Ko-Fan, Barbara Ann Bread, and a few others that I can’t quite make out. Also this painting is boasting the birthplace of the cheeseburger. Unfortunately, there are others refute this, but that is for another time and another blog. This painting, to me shows an example of taking Arcadian elements such as water and oranges and creating a booming industry. The background of the painting looks as though it is in the middle of Death Valley or the Mojave Desert, but is advertising Arrowhead water, and has buckets and buckets of oranges. Making any dream of creating a consumer project seem easy to start, even in the desert.
Frey, Joseph. The Rite Spot, Birthplace of the Cheeseburger, Pasadena,
California. n.d. Private Collection.
McClung, William Alexander. “Inventing Utopia.” Landscapes of Desire: Anglo
Mythologies of Los Angeles. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
4-9, 19-33. Print.