Under Wraps, 2021
30 x 30 cm
of the original oil painting
"As an Artist, I see my job description as simple, to 'notice stuff’, and my paintings can be seen as a document of what I notice. My painting practice is based around time consuming and painstaking oil paintings of mundane objects of our everyday lives. I believe that if there is anything worth any value in this world, it is found in the most ordinary objects and painting has an opportunity to slow down these observations and give them value.
I was initially attracted to the idea of painting the broccoli wrapped in plastic because I love painting the texture of plastic, and the broccoli was a good excuse. It seems to me that plastic is the material of our time; it is everywhere. Misused and overused, the current consumption and production of plastic is leading to pollution and other complications to the environment that cannot longer go unnoticed.
Its visually seductive properties deny and deflect as much as they allow entry, this is to say it is a nuisance. This impermeable surface abstracts and obscures the very thing it is trying to protect, creating its own painterly marks in the process. The shine, the creases and the folds, it strikes me that plastic is the modern day drapery commonly found in the work of the old masters.
I have an immense respect for the work of these artist such as Titian, Velazquez and Rubens, however I see my role as an artist today is to reflect my life. Through the medium of oil paint I can give the stoic grandeur of an old master to a humble vegetable wrapped in plastic. It is this subversion and departure from the epic history of oil painting and its ability to recontextualise objects which interests me."
About the artist:
Callum Eaton (b. 1997, Bath, UK), lives and works in Bath. He is a contemporary British painter whose practice is centred around photorealistic renderings of the unnoticeable objects that clutter our everyday lives. Tacky and charming, gritty yet playful, he approaches his work with a tongue in cheek flair. Serving us his self named ‘Tacky Realism’, Eaton’s playfully disrespectful take on Contemporary Realism disarms the viewer with its painstaking quality. On a diet of memes, emojis and google images, Eaton’s aesthetic education is varied and greedy. High art influences can be seen but subverted by the domestic detritus of everyday life; lurid yellow parking tickets snatched from windshields, glossy oversized contraceptives and children’s birthday cakes are all given the stoic grandeur of the works of old masters. The ordinary, the quotidian and even the abject all become heightened to the status of a jewel, becoming something worth paying attention to. Eaton shows us the beauty in the corners of the everyday.