Fairnington described his works as 'looking for everyday events that reflect wider issues', and found material for social and political parables within the mixed ethnic community on the council estate in Deptford, in the East End of London, where he lived in a high-rise tower at the time this work was painted. 'The Rotten Aubergine' makes several nicely observed points. The Indian housewife, intent on choosing vegetables, oblivious to the meaningful glares of the stall-holder, turns up a rotten aubergine, and, presumably discards it. The vivid colours and splashy design of the collage are reminiscent of Howard Hodgkin's work, which is influenced by Indian art. The Indian element is further emphasized by the exuberant border, similar to traditional sand designs laid out round the food of an honoured guest.
Where to see this painting?
British Council Collection
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