An artist finds rich pickings in the sprawling mundanity of a Walmart store
For many, a Walmart store is the foremost symbol of the supposed cultural and economic mediocrity of the United States over the past half-century. But might we someday find ourselves nostalgic for the era of the big-box retailer? The US artist Brendan O’Connell, known for his impressionistic paintings of famous US brands, thinks it’s likely. Brendan O’Connell Is Blocking the Bread Aisle follows the artist’s attempt to depict the (perhaps fleeting) cultural moment of big-box bargain-shopping through a series of paintings that celebrate unremarkable moments inside Walmart stores. In doing so – first as an intruder, and later as Walmart’s invited guest – he reminds us of the contingency and temporality of our ideas about what constitutes culture and art.