It is a symbol of American capitalism–the bright blue mega store synonymous with one-stop shopping — but beyond the heavily salted snack foods and king-sized candy bags, there is a different taste in the Walmart.
A section past the pet food and three aisles from the pop tarts, there is pop art in the Torrington Walmart.
Artist Brendan O’Connell is thinking outside the big box, for the past decade the Litchfield Hills resident has traveled the country painting at Walmarts.
“I’m pretty much the only guy doing paintings about Walmart,” O’Connell said. “I was trying to capture Americana in action.”
O’Connell seems to succeed, his artworks, mostly paintings of well-known products like Tide bottles, Utz Potato Chips, and M&M bags that line Walmart’s vast shelves now fetch prices of in the $25,000-40,000 range.
Walking the Walmart aisles in the Torrington store, shopper Ebony Parish stopped and watched O’Connell at work, “this is so fabulous because it’s unexpected and that’s the best kind of art,” she said.
O’Connell says he’s been called the “Walmart Warhol” and added, “this is kind of where I’m exploring American life.”
When O’Connell isn’t in the aisles of Walmart he’s promoting his mission called everyartist.me.
The goal of the creative initiative is to engage one million school kids nationwide to get involved in art. for more information click http://everyartist.me/