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Pop Art

Art Fortune | Pop Art


Pop Art was a movement that began in the late 1950’s for the United States that used mass-produced popular products and images in culture to challenge traditions and create commodity. This form of art used a variety of materials drawn from popular everyday lives that usually were involved in someway with television, advertising, magazines, or comics. Aesthetically it challenged the work of Abstract Expressionism and autonomous creation. Pop Art commented on consumerism and our cultures new obsession with celebrities and mass production, most often in a minimalist and ironic way.

A huge concept of Pop Art was the aspect of turning our culture into a commodity. Andy Warhol achieved this with his famous “Campbell’s Soup Cans” and  “Brillo Soap Box” sculptures. He also used repetition and color, to produce portraits of various celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger, and Chinese Emperor Mao. Jasper Johns used the same critical irony with his work most exemplified in his series of American Flags.  “Flags” uses a wide variety of materials such as wax, newspaper, and plaster to create his appropriations. All his works were unified by a coherent use of symbols, numbers, and words. Roy Lichtenstein was another product of Pop Art. He used comic book like drawings and paintings to make critical comments about art and culture. His most famous work is “Wham” which is an adaptation from a DC Comic strip.

Pop Art was most strong in the late 1950’s and 1960’s. It changed the tone of art and created awareness for the growing infatuation of celebrities and mass production. It was the beginning of the loss of individuality through culture. Andy Warhol explains this phenomenon through his quote about the global brand Coca-Cola. He said, “What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.” This is the fundamental idea that Pop Art if founded upon, that an artist can paint something as ordinary as a portrait of a Campbell’s Soup Can, through silkscreen, a silk screen process mass produce it, and sell it to the public as art.

“I am for an art that takes its forms from the lines of life itself, that twists and extends and accumulates and spits and drips and is heavy and coarse and blunt and sweet and stupid as life itself.”

-Claes Oldenbourg’s idea of Pop Art.





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