artist Brendan O'Connell (in front of a painting purchased by Alec Baldwin)
What is it about Wal-Mart? Of all of artist Brendan O'Connell's work, it's his renderings of shoppers at the superstore that have generated the most interest. "I was struck by the notion of capturing everyday American life," says O'Connell, "Wal-Mart has replaced the church as the place where people congregate." An exhibit of his Wal-Mart paintings opens tonight at Lamontagne Gallery in South Boston, and O'Connell, whose wife is the noted Beverly Farms-bred landscape painter Emily Buchanan, will be there. We'd heard the Wal-Mart paintings have some well-known fans, including "30 Rock" actor Alec Baldwin and Darrell Crate, the multimillionaire former chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party. "Alec's become quite a collector of American paintings," said O'Connell. "He saw my work in New York and bought a couple." The show runs through Oct. 9.
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