According to the Oxford Dictionary, art is, "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."
Art has been part of history and cultural resets for millennials. Artists are responsible for creating something that represents how they view the world, history, culture, or mundane objects.
This is exactly how pop art was born and how it continues to be an important style in the cultural world.
Continue reading this blog piece if you want to learn more about this popular movement, especially if you are interested in learning about the years it was born, what it is, what are some historic paintings, and how the movement influences artists today.
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What is pop art?
It is almost impossible to define an entire art movement in a sentence because there are plenty of things to analyze like the style, definition, characteristics, and so on.
American Pop Art began in cities like New York and LA during the late 1950s and early 1960s as a post-war revolutionary form of art.
The artists who created the movement were influenced by what they saw in popular, commercial, and mass culture. From their observations of the"modern world," they decided to add color to any common object or popular image shown in the media.
Pop Art was characterized by a varied reaction to the commodity-driven values of the post-war era, frequently using mass-produced seen in everyday life (like comic strips, soup cans, road signs, and hamburgers) as subject matter or as a component of the work.
The American Pop Art movement (which was developed apart from the British movement) saw the work of a group of artists that changed the artistic scene in the country.
The work and paintings of artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi, James Rosenquist, and Robert Rauschenberg continue to be popular amongst art collectors and mass media.
Each artist brought their views of the cultural and commercial imagery that was constantly being fed to the masses. These popular images were the things that inspired their work and posed an opportunity to create an abstract painting, sculpture, or collage.
Pop Art began as an effort of artists to create a better representation of the world we live in. They wanted to show life as art always does, but they believed that the art exhibited in museums or taught at schools did not represent the real world.
As mentioned above, the work of artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Hamilton, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol changed how we represent our perception of life.
Historic pop art pieces
Here is a brief description of some of the most popular art pieces created by famous pop artists.
1. I was a rich man's plaything, Eduardo Paolozzi, 1947
Eduardo Paolozzi is considered one of the creators of Pop Art. His work is usually discussed by using his first collage which used magazine and advertising cuts.
It is the front cover of the "Intimate Confessions" magazine. It emits the word "pop" which is pasted close to a rifle. Years before the name Pop Art was coined, the first piece of art to use the word "pop" was I Was A Rich Man's Plaything.
2. Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? Richard Hamilton, 1956
Along with the artist Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton is considered the pioneer of the Pop Art movement. This is a collage that works as a parody of a typical American commercial.
3. Campbell’s Soup Cans, Andy Warhol, 1962
This art piece created by Andy Warhol consists of thirty-two canvases total, one for each of the 32 types of soup that Campbell's was selling at the time.
This art piece is considered as the painting that led Pop Art to become a major art movement in the United States. during the decade of the 60s (and the rest of time).
4. Marilyn Diptych, Andy Warhol, 1962
The masterpiece contains 5o images of the world-famous actress Marilyn Monroe. The 25 images on the left side are vividly colored while the 25 on the right are in black and white with an effect of fading. Critics suggest that the contrast is suggestive of the star’s death.
Marilyn Diptych is an iconic work of Pop Art. It is also the best-known masterpiece of Andy Warhol.
5. Whaam!, Roy Lichtenstein, 1963
Roy Lichtenstein is the most famous American Pop Art artist after Andy Warhol and Whaam! is his most renowned work. The piece is a comic strip depicting areal combat, one of the most represented things in Lichtenstein's work.
The picture, which was inspired by comic book illustrations, depicts a fighter jet launching a rocket that strikes another jet and causes it to catch fire. Brilliant color and a compelling storyline are combined in Whaam!
6. Drowning Girl, Roy Lichtenstein, 1963
Lichtenstein was an outstanding pop artist, but he originally worked with Cubism and Abstract Expressionism. Drowning Girl (sometimes also referred to as ‘I Don’t Care! I’d Rather Sink’) shows the victim of an unhappy love affair. A girl who would rather drown than ask for help from her lover.
The printing method and the use of speech balloons to convey thoughts give the painting an appearance of a comic book page.
7. Spoonbridge and Cherry (Claes Oldenburg), 1988
Oldenburg crafted this sculptural pop art fountain which features a large cherry, resting on the uppermost curve of a spoon, and permanently resides in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
How did Pop Art influence history?
Pop Art created an artistic revolution not only in New York or America but in the entire world. The depiction of mundane objects in colorful images took the world by storm.
The images of American and British Pop artists and pop culture spread like everything in the modern world spreads. A movement that emerged as a post-war critique of everyday life turned into a timeless movement that continues to be taught and learned in schools.
Pop Art changed the perception of art and laid the basis of a new art revolution, where artists allow their ideas to be a reality, without worrying about any art rules they might have been taught to follow.
It allowed artists to show the world as they see it, without having to pay attention to their style, conceptuality, or old artistic rules.
Pop Art is about bold, bright collages and colors that are right in your face, nothing else matters! This movement showed the world that even if something is critiqued at first, it's going to grow if it is not afraid of breaking the norm.
If you want to learn more about this modern, mass-produced, movement, then you can hire a private tutor from Superprof to help you.
How did art evolve after pop art?
Since Pop Art was a revolutionary movement (as well as every other artistic movement) the rules for art changed forever.
Before Pop Art, it was inconceivable to think of adding words in thought bubbles in an art piece. It was impossible to convince the same image repeated 32 times on one canvas as an art piece. It was hard to imagine a museum that would host a gallery for images of fruits with bright and contrasting backgrounds.
However, the group of artists like Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, and more made it possible for Pop Art to be categorized as a prestigious form of art.
Today, Pop Art is part of the culture, and not only American or British culture, but of the entire world. You can ask anyone, regardless of their background or the country they belong to if they know who Andy Warhol is, and they'll most likely say yes.
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