"At ease on the Woolloomoolloo wharf, the boys talked about real estate and sport and wore their Sunday best: white and blue check shirts with stiff and unbuttoned collars. High noon light reflected from the white table cloths and twinkled from the silver cutlery, and the heady force of it all brought a laundered freshness to the air on that balmy day. It was like we’d been starched and pressed and preemptively proofed from the soiling presence of burning cigarettes and half-empty bowls of grease-spotted paper towel."
It was once the case that every boy was taught about the power of blue and white, and how together these were the traditional choice of attire for young men. Although the great wheel of contemporary fashion has splintered into a million pieces since, the combination remains a statement and expression of the internal mantra of any winner: “I am forever relevant in the face of changing taste.” I am stylish and sophisticated. I am a masculine force. I am the Classic.
In Untitled, 1969, the classic is negotiated by way of painting techniques from the Pop arsenal, among them: airbrush, hard-edge, obtuse contouring and metallic lustre. The painting by McLean is a speculative return to issues of the classic, and a proposition of how this timeless visual concept might have been shaped by the aesthetic, industrial and social forces of the post-war era. In Untitled, 1969, the classic goes Pop.