With his infamous soup cans Andy Warhol may have popularised the painting of mundane objects, but depicting boring objects on canvas had already been going on for yonks.
'Nothing humiliates his brushes' was said of Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin, little known 18th century master of still life. Still Life paintings could easily be renamed Dull Life paintings, comprising, as they mostly do, pots, pans, bowls, rotten fruit, tea- towels, forks etc etc. Cezanne once said; 'With an apple I want to astonish Paris!' Good luck with that Paul. Marcel Duchamp caused a splash when he exhibited his notorious urinal at a show in New York.
No, Warhol was no innovator; he was only following an age old tradition. A tradition of laziness basically. Painters have to paint something and a tin of beans or a wooden spoon are, at the very least, cheap and handy.
There are plenty modern masters of the mundane. Patrick Caulfield specialised in garish depictions of jugs, bathroom tiles, ceiling lights and stackable chairs; a style vaguely picked up by the more contemporary Michael Craig Martin. Dutch artist Tjalf Sparnaay's mega-hyper-realistic pictures of fried eggs, hamburgers, chips and tomato sauce bottles look good enough to eat. I'm just thinking, in these health conscious days in which we live, whether a nut roast or a carrot salad or a quinoa, tofu and bamboo-shoot burger wouldn't be more PC.
Claus Oldenburg, the Swedish American sculptor, takes household objects - a clothes peg, a book of matches, a trowel, a plug, a saw - an inflates them to monumental scale for his public installations in cities around the world. Pop artist Tom Wesselmann was inordinately fond of kitchen objects in his pictures. He also painted naked women, which, depending on your view, may or may not be termed 'mundane'. Perhaps this is the crux of the matter. When it comes down to it, what is 'mundane'? And what is the problem with painting it anyway? Like I said, artists have to paint something. A hay wain would have been pretty mundane in Constable's Suffolk. In season, sunflowers are two a penny in van Gogh's stomping ground in the south of France. A late night diner was nothing special in Hopper's Greenwich Village. We are all scratching around in a foaming stew of mundanity.
Ed Ruscha's painting 'Standard Station' depicts a gas station in California with its extreme vanishing points and deco sunbursts. A gas station in California - mundanity personified.
Confuscius he say: 'Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it'. And so, now, let's hear it for the humble Shopping Mall; Dull Life par excellence. Yawn.
Please note this is a diptych of two paintings each measuring 90×90 cms. They will be shipped in two separate parcels. Also note when hung on the wall there will be a visible gap. However all the edges are painted so they could even be hung apart if desired.