Title: Zippo 75.

Painted by Ollie Smith

Completed: January 15, 2020.

Height: 91cm

Width: 91cm

Medium: Spray paint

Materials: On board

Availability: For sale

Price: £900.00


This painting is part of a fixation I have with the form of the Zippo lighter. These lighters were supplied on mass to US troops fighting in Vietnam. With the lighter opened the suggestion could be that the lighter has run out of fuel and has become a useless object. The pattern was inspired by wall paper designs from the 1960s and 70s the number 75 is not only the end of the Vietnam War but is also the year I was born. The inscription text ‘Semper Fi’ is Latin for ‘always faithful’ or ‘always loyal’, and has been used as a motto town, institutions, schools and the military for centuries. While it may imply indoctrination the connotation could also be ‘tongue in cheek’ in this painting, questioning ‘who is loyal to what?’.