British contemporary artist Aaron Kasmin (b.1963) first discovered them at a car boot sale in France and since then has amassed a collection running into the hundreds.
For him, these “small, ephemeral masterpieces” are “wonderful pieces of cultural and social history that mark the rise of America’s consumer culture when advertising was still a fairly modern and exciting construction”.
Motivated by his ever-growing collection, Kasmin reproduces the designs in drawings made with coloured carbothello pencils.
From September 16-October 28, the Sims Reed Gallery in London’s St James’s holds its fourth exhibition dedicated to Kasmin’s matchbook pencil drawings.
Made last year during the various lockdowns, the 29 new works range in themes from bars and restaurants, clothing brands and diamonds, to horse racing, cars and the Oscars.
Priced at £1500, this 8 x 12in (21 x 30cm) work promotes Leon & Eddie’s, a popular 1930s and 40s nightclub situated on New York’s so-called ‘Swing Street’ off 5th Avenue in Manhattan.