In 1956, Wayne Thiebaud befriended Willem de Kooning who gave him a valuable advice: paint what you love.
In 1961, Thiebaud created a series with cakes and thought nobody would be interested in them. Still, he went from California to NYC to present his work. He got rejected but the last gallery in which he stopped was the Allan Stone Gallery. Allan Stone was intrigued and gave him a show in the spring 1962 that sold out.
Allan Stone remained his art dealer and friend until his passing in 2006.
Sources: Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retrospective by Steven A. Nash
Delicious: The Art and Life of Wayne Thiebaud by Susan Goldman Rubin
Wayne's cakes, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)