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Brendan O’Connell

Artist Statement Submitted 2015

After completing all of my schooling in Atlanta and then graduating from Emory University in 1990, I left Georgia and moved to Paris. I spent the next seven years in Europe, teaching myself to draw and paint, surviving as a street artist.

When I returned to America, a name and brand I barely recognized—Walmart—now spotted the southern landscape. The first self-service grocery store, the grocery cart itself, and the largest distributor of goods—Walmart-- were all things that originated in the south, and have become synonymous with America.

Ten years ago, I started photographing and sketching unremarkable moments I witnessed within its walls. My goal? To capture people of all ages, incomes, and colors milling in the big American box that holds every brand and every color. What I saw and documented I then translated through paintings. The goal has always been to find and create beauty out of the mundane and ordinary, what is commonly known as art of the Everyday.

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