The Porridge Eaters


"Welfail of the state." - Pete McKee

Curatorial Note

Created for Pete's 2022 Don't Adjust Your Mindset exhibition this painting's title and composition references Vincent van Gogh’s 1885 painting, The Potato Eaters, picturing an impoverished family around a table. In contrast to images of working-class families Pete has previously created, his sombre painting lacks any humour, cosiness or sense of contentment. The work’s title also references a 2017 Twitter thread, in which:

“...journalist Isabel Oakeshott managed, in the space of just a few characters, to dismiss people living in poverty, effectively telling them to eat gruel. I have never forgotten those contemptuous, cruel and out of touch comments and have always wanted to explore them in one of my pieces. 

Having bills pile up that you can’t pay and living in rundown accommodation is something I have personally experienced. Reliance on income support and working tax credit was a reality for me. I consider myself fortunate that me and my family are now in different circumstances. But the family in my painting could be any of us.”

Product Options:

This image is available as an art print, produced on high-quality paper and available unframed or framed. This image is also available on canvas.

Unframed art print*
Small print: 40cm x 56cm
Large print: 50cm x 70cm

*Dimensions include a white border that surrounds the image and measures approximately 5cm.

Please note that unframed prints take 1-2 working days to be printed and an extra 1-2 working days for delivery. Unframed prints are available the same day from the McKee gallery for collection only.

Framed art print
Mounted and framed in a bespoke, glass, black angled frame. Made by the gallery's local framer.

Small framed print: 43cm x 53cm (approx)
Large framed print: 54cm x 70cm (approx)

Please note that framed prints take 7-10 working days to be made up and an extra 2-3 working days for delivery.

Our canvases are hand-stretched onto chunky pine frames with hand-folded corners. Our McKee images are printed onto the canvases with high-definition printers to produce sharp, high quality images.

Canvas: 31cm x 41cm

Please note our canvases can take up to 7 working days to be delivered or to be collected in store.


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