Brendan O'Connell

  • Aired:  03/06/13
  •  | Views: 14,382

The contemporary artist explains why he paints Jif jars and classic American blondes shopping in Wal-Mart. (5:44)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AN ARTIST WHO DOES IMPRESSIONIS.

FOR WAL-MART SHOPPERS.

HIS PAINTEDDINGS COST $6.99 FOR A PACK OF SIX.

PLEASE WELCOME BRENDAN O'CONNELL.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

MR. O'CONNELL THANK YOU FOR COMING ON.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE AN AMERICAN PAINTER TRADITIONALLY TRAINED.

>> MORE OR LESS.

>> Stephen: MORE OR LESS.

LET'S SAY MORE.

ALL RIGHT.

[ LAUGHTER ]

YOU CAPTURE THEMES OF EVERY DAY LIFE AND YOU'VE CHOSEN TO PAINT SCENES FROM WAL-MART.

>> I STARTED PAINTING WAL-MARTS EIGHT YEARS AGO.

>> Stephen: DID THEY KNOW?

>> WELL --

>> Stephen: LET SHOW THE PEOPLE WHAT I MEAN.

JIM, PUT UP ONE OF THESE.

IT'S HARD TO EXPLAIN.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: THAT'S ONE OF YOUR PAINTINGS?

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PAINT A RACK OF JIF?

>> I JUST KIND OF LIKED THE COLORS, PATTERNS SHAPES.

I'VE BEEN PAINTING WAL-MART FOR ABOUT EIGHT YEARS AND WATCHING PEOPLE AND GOING IN AND

PHOTOGRAPHING AND THEY KEPT ASKING ME TO LEAVE.

>> Jon: WERE YOU GOING IN THERE WITH AN EASEEL?

>> I WAS GOING WITH A CAME ARE AND I WOULD TAKE PICTURES OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND THEN THEY SAID

IF YOU CONTINUE DO THAT YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE.

>> Stephen: SO YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE PHOTOS IN WAL-MART.

>> MOST RETAIL ENVIRONMENTS DON'T ALLOW TO YOU TAKE PHOTOS?

>> Jon: WHY?

>> I DON'T KNOW IF THEY THINK THEY ARE LOSING TRADE SECRETS.

>> Stephen: YEAH, YOU CAN'T LET OUT HOW THESE ARE STACKED.

[LAUGHTER]

THIS REMINDS ME IMMEDIATELY OF COURSE OF LIKE ANDY WARHOL'S SOUP CAN BUT IT WAS A SINGULAR OBJECT.

IT WAS LIKE OBJETDAR AND HAD A SYNTHETIC SUBJECTIVENESS.

THIS HAS AN AGGRESSIVE QUALITY THAT TURNS POP ART INTO CONSUMER ART.

NOW IF -- DOES WHAT I JUST SAID MEAN ANYTHING?

>> NOT NECESSARILY BUT --

[LAUGHTER]

>> Stephen: GOOD BECAUSE I WAS JUST --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

I WAS JUST GRABBING WORDS OUT OF THE AIR THERE.

>> WHAT I THINK IS INTERESTING IS WE HAVE A RELATIONSHIP TO BRANDS.

I LIKE THE VIEW OF THE WORLD PUSHING THE CART AND OUT OF THE CORNER OF YOUR EYES FIVE MILES

PER HOUR YOU SEE A BLURRED VISION OF THE WORLD.

>> Stephen: THERE'S MY BLACK DIAMOND SMOKED ALMOND THAT'S MY BRAND.

>> YOU GET MINIMAL INFORMATION AND PEOPLE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE REPRESENTING.

>> Stephen: LET'S GO TO THE NEXT ONE HERE, JAMES.

ALL RIGHT, WHAT IS THIS?

>> THIS IS THE CHECK OUT AISLE OF THE NORTH BERGEN, NEW JERSEY, WAL-MART.

>> Stephen: THAT'S A GOOD ONE.

>> THAT'S A GOOD ONE.

[LAUGHTER]

THIS IS WHEN THEY ALLOWED ME TO HAVE A FETEO SHOOT THERE AND HIS A CHERRY PICKER AND PROFESSIONAL

PHOTOGRAPHER AND WE PHOTOGRAPHED THIS THING.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS IS YOU GIVE MINIMAL AMOUNT OF INFORMATION.

THIS WHOLE EXERCISE WAS TRYING TO PUT AS LITTLE PAINT ON THE CANVAS.

>> Stephen: IT'S AN IMPRESSIONIST VERSION OF A PARADE.

>> THEY WERE PAINTING IN PARIS AND I FEEL LIKE I'M PAINTING THE AISLES OF WAL-MART.

>> Stephen: LET'S GO TO THE NEXT ONE HERE.

NOW -- IS EVERYONE WHO SHOPS AT WAL-MART SEXY?

BECAUSE I'LL GO THERE MORE OFTEN IF THIS IS WHAT YOU GET.

>> THAT'S MY WIFE.

>> Stephen: OH, IT IS.

>> NO.

[ LAUGHTER ]

I HAD VARIOUS MODELS OVER THE YEARS GO IN AND I PAID THEM TO SHOP BASICALLY.

SO THAT'S HOW THE SERIES BEGAN.

I HAD THE CLASSIC AMERICAN BLONDE SHOPPING IN WAL-MART.

>> Stephen: LET'S GO TO THE NEXT ONE.

OKAY.

IS THIS CALLED US.

>> GREAT BIG US.

>> Stephen: I LOVE THIS ONE.

IS THERE ANYWAY YOU COULD -- THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER IS CAN I CLICK ON THE

PAINTING AND PURCHASE THESE ITEMS?

>> I SOMETIMES SNACK WHILE PAINTING.

IT'S -- YOU KNOW, IT'S VERY BIG.

THIS ONE IS LIKE SEVEN FEET BY EIGHT FEET.

>> Stephen: HOW MUCH DO THESE THINGS GO FOR?

>> THAT IS WORTH $40,000.

>> Stephen: $40,000 WHASMS IS THE LOW END?

>> THE SMALL ONE GOES FOR $1,000.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

COULD PEOPLE WHO SHOP AT WAL-MART AFFORD THE PAINTINGS YOU MAKE OF THEM?

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> WHAT IS INTERESTING ABOUT THE -- HALF THE PEOPLE WHO BUY THE PAINTINGS HAVE NEVER BOUGHT

A PIECE OF CONTEMPORARY ART BEFORE AND THE OTHER HALF SPEND $100,000 EVERY YEAR.

WHAT I LIKE IS IT'S A SERIES THAT SEEMS TO HAVE A BROAD SPECTRUM OF INTEREST.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE ABOUT TO GET A LOT MORE INTEREST BECAUSE YOU ARE GETTING THE COLBERT BUMP

TONIGHT, ALL RIGHT?

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

TODAY YOU ARE PAINTING WAL-MART.

THIS TIME NEXT WEEK YOU ARE PAINTING AT WHOLE FOODS!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

BRENDAN O'CONNELL, PAINTER OF WAL-MART.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

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