Art, for the longest time, has been regarded as a very respectable form of creative expression. Centuries back, artists were considered to be individuals that commanded respect wherever they went, with their artworks fetching hefty price tags and the awe and admiration of the public, which — in all fairness — is very much well deserved.
However, the nature of art is dynamic and ever-changing. No singular definition can label art across the many eras it has undergone during its long history. And with that, there is no singular form that art can be labeled with at any point in time.
One of the most culturally relevant movements of art to this day is its transformation into the category known as Pop Art. Developed beginning in the 1950s, Pop Art is the embodiment of modern culture and the expression of core themes that revolve around contemporary civilization such as consumerism and materialism.
With the rapid progress of human minds in just a few centuries, the development of art has also taken up a whole new level both literally and figuratively. Nowadays, the sophistication of art is no longer that prominent. The expression of oneself in a creative manner can be deformed and perverted into the artist’s every whim without fear of judgment or criticism from the public.
Artists during the modern era thrive in controversy. And while the subject of humour is not controversial in itself, the long history of art as a form has been drilled into the minds of the older generation as a sophisticated style that should not veer away from its traditions.
With the introduction of Pop Art, all sense of rigidness and strict adherence to any set imaginary rules were thrown out of the window. And with the freedom offered by the emergence of Pop Art, many more artists from the common folk have unlocked their artistic potential through many unorthodox means which continues to surprise the public to this day.
Mixing humour with Pop Art is not a difficult feat. To provide a little context, Pop Art emerged as a rebellious response to the shifting of the collective consciousness in human society which manifests through different concepts such as consumerism, advertising, and mass media.
Pop Art is a return to more raw and human experiences and feelings, and unsurprisingly, humour is definitely on the top of this particular art form’s list in delivering its not-so-subtle message to the masses. Whether it’s through a parody of a popular brand or utilizing the comic-strip art style to deliver a funny punchline, humour is, in fact, an asset to Pop Art.
From the controversial pieces of Maurizzio Cattelan to the subtle wittiness of Banksy, humour in Pop Art is embraced by artists of all ages and walks of life. To an artist who wants to tread down the path of Pop Art, humour can indeed be mixed into pieces in order to enhance the emotional power of a message.
In a dark and dreary world such as what we’re living in at the moment, a little chuckle does not hurt at all.
Check out my Joker painting!