Modern and Contemporary Art
Whoopee at Sloppy Joe's
George Biddle, American, 1885 - 1973
Oil on canvas
Currently not on view
1972-121-1Gift of the artist, 1972
LabelThis painting takes a satirical look at high society life during Prohibition. George Biddle's sharp eye precisely captures the inhabitants of this decadent milieu, which include sad-eyed, seen-everything bartenders; a predatory lothario with his nervous female prey; aging gentlemen with rouge cheeks and red lips; and a sagging, dejected, lone drinker. In a brilliant touch, the artist structured the composition to emphasize the bend around the corner of the bar, creating a background of diagonal lines that makes everything look askew, perhaps simulating the perspective of an inebriated occupant of Sloppy Joe's.