Stephan Coneye (1907 - 1978) was an Austrian artist. He is well known for his ceramic interior decorations like ceramic figurines and masks. He designed a large series of masks, which came in pairs of a female and a male in traditional outfits (Chinese, Mexicans ...) . They became very popular in the 1950th and were followed by other designs like little figurines and little lamps. To see more than one pair – it’s a very overwhelming feeling – and will make everybody take a very, very deep breath. It’s like seeing a very, very big collection of Hummel figurines, without finding the exit of the room.
I once bought this Mexican girl for a small amount of money - on a flea market (it's a obsession of mine). Yes, it is a very common decoration. Yes, it is VERY 1950. I saw for the first time such pieces. I didn't grow up surrounded by kitsch. My parents didn't buy factory pieces for the mass. Shit, we could be rich, if we would own a Warhol! So everybody was shocked about this "ugly piece", because they know such wall decorations (my uncle/aunt/grandparents had such things ...) and were sick of it (kitsch, garbage, can't stand it ...)! Funny thing is, after I found out, what its market price, exactly this people valued it again. Jeez, they should frame some price tags and call them decorations!
I enjoyed my Mexican couple –I found a year later a boy too – for a while and packed it in cotton after I replaced them with other strange (conversation)pieces. Maybe the pieces will be worth a real fortune in 50 years, after everybody else will have thrown the remaining pieces away. VICTORIA, you will be rich one day!!!
I'm always astonished about people, which call something ugly as long as they don't know the price of it. I know that some art is sold for a lot of money but I wouldn't like them not a little bit more. Who on earth want really live with some Fettecke (fat corner) from Beuys or a 400 m² of Jack the Dripper?! On the other hand, a lot of famous artists had to produce massproducts to survive – but nobody thinks about the fact, that for example Zatzka couldn't live from his famous church paintings alone. His livelihood came from mass produced oil printings long before Warhol was born.
In the end all is in the eye of the beholder.