Let’s meet Patrick Caulfield!
Are you hungry? This painting is called ‘After Lunch’, 1975.
It is a picture of a restaurant. Do you think the artist might have been on holiday when he painted it? Can you see the man leaning in the doorway? Do you think he is waiting for the artist to leave?
Patrick Caulfield has painted the picture blue and in a cartoon style. But then he has done something strange. He has painted a realistic landscape scene on the wall. This is different to what you find in most paintings. The artist is playing with our ideas of what is real and what is not.
Patrick Caulfield is called a Pop artist because he painted everyday objects, like an empty wine glass or a bottle. He liked making paintings that were very flat, they look a bit like they have been printed rather than painted. To begin with he used household paints, the glossy kind that are sometimes used to paint walls or doors.
Here is a painting of a lampshade. It is very simple isn’t it?
But is it also a little bit mysterious. Can you see that the light from the lamp is not illuminating the darkness?
That is because Caulfield was interested in the Surrealist artists. They liked to put everyday objects together to make something playful and disturbing at the same time. Like this painting of some bananas by the surrealist artist Giorgio de Chirico. He mixes a traditional Greek sculpture of a body with some bananas! Strange eh? But it makes you think about something that is new and something that is old! Do you think that Patrick Caulfield was inspired by this painting to make his painting below? What are the similarities and differences in the paintings?
Caulfield studied art at the Royal College of Art in London in the early 1960s. He met other Pop artists there like Peter Blake and David Hockney. He was part of a movement that celebrated ordinary life, and painted scenes about it, and he inspired many other artists to do the same.
What would you draw or paint to show every day life? Is there something around you right now that might look a bit boring but actually could be a start of a very interesting story….?