Selecting Bob and Roberta Smith's painting for his office in Whitehall, the former Chief Secretary to HM Treasury (2002-2005) told us that the work often helped raise a smile among staff and visitors alike.
Lord Paul Boateng chooses Pop Art
Echoing the style of street vendors’ signs and protest banners, this work uses bold text in the artist’s distinctive graphic style.
Playfully proclaiming the nonsensical relationship between peas and beans, Smith’s work sparked a wonderful idea in Boateng’s mind as to how it would be received by visitors to his office. As he recalled in 2011:
It was a piece of pop art which cast a less than respectful eye on that much-maligned breed “bean counters”. Cast in the role of “bean counter in chief” I welcomed anything that raised a laugh or at least a wry smile on the part of those awaiting scrutiny before they were ushered into my rooms at 1 Horse Guards Road [HM Treasury].
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