Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Pop-Art began in the 1950s in Britain and in the 1960s in America. Pop Art arose as a form of rebellion towards Abstract Expressionism which was seen as over intense and pretentious. Pop Art was meant for the ordinary man using ordinary objects that every person would recognize and love. People loved Pop Art because it could be mass produced but that was also an issue that art critics had because they did not believe it was truly art since it could be copied so readily.
The most well known artists are David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Hockney is one of the most famous Pop artists from Britain. He worked with paint, set design and photography. Hockney was most famous for his photocollages and paintings of swimming pools which he made during the time in which he lived in California. Johns is an American artist who is most well known for painting and printmaking. Johns is most well known for his painting of the Flag and most of his other paintings include images and objects from popular culture which is what characterizes him as a Pop artist. Johns mainly used maps, letters, numbers, flags, and targets as the objects of his paintings and prints. Lichtenstein was most well known for using old fashioned comic book strips as his subject matter. He is said to have defined Pop Art the best through his use of parody with the comic book strips as can be seen in Whaam!. Warhol is probably the most well known Pop Artist and seems to have summed up the entire idea of Pop Art in this quote: “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 reason why Warhol used such iconic objects in his screenprinting, mainly using Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles. Warhol also did paintings of iconic characters such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Some of Warhol’s paintings had bright, neon colors with the colors not really resembling the actual image. This can be seen in Warhol’s depiction of Marilyn Monroe.

1 comment:

Earl Grey said...

One of the things that makes Pop art so appealing is the way in which it blends together things from art with artmaking. Campbell's soup is a food that people consume, and Andy Warhol makes it the subject of art.

A few years ago I took students to see a Pop Art Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (late '07/early'08). One of the most interesting portraits there was Marilyn Monroe Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, c. 1967. It was called "Ghost Wardrobe for MM". It was cheeky but, also, riveting.

Thanks for the post and bringing up information about one of the most interesting eras of art history!