Pop Art painting is one of the most popular art movements to spring up in modern times. First gaining traction in the United States and the United Kingdom, Pop Art was an act of rebellion in the 20th century against the supposed practices of fine art and the growing trend of consumerism that was beginning to spread among the masses.
Pop Art is particularly pointed out to have many recurring themes in the works associated with the art style. Pop Art pieces are usually known for the use of eccentric and vibrant colors; also, common subjects in Pop Art are focused around elements that are ‘mainstream’ such as famous celebrities, characters drawn in the style of comic books, and even popular products during the time such as soda bottles, cans of soup, and many other novelty items.
Tracking back to its origins, Pop Art first emerged as a means to oppose what was assumed as art back then — a hobby that only a select educated few can truly appreciate and admire. Well, as we all know, that is not the case when it comes to art. And the first pioneers of Pop Art also knew this fact — that there was a need for a major overhaul of the so-called ‘standards’ of art that were making the rounds back then.
Firstly, rejecting the sophisticated and out-of-touch atmosphere of traditional fine art which was previously the norm back then, Pop Art was an outlet for the masses to speak their mind against the elitist and snobbish nature of art appreciation back then.
This move against classic art that both critics and art lovers alike surely raised eyebrows back then. After centuries of regarding art as an exclusive and niche form of creative expression, here comes an art movement seeking to tear down the invisible barriers to art appreciation. Surely enough, eyebrows were raised as the trend of Pop Art grew by the minute, but with its lasting impact on the masses — the world still continues to enjoy many variations of the beloved art style to this day.
Second, Pop Art painting was a response to the growing culture of materialism among the people. As people continued to have the tendency to spend more and buy more, artists who worked using Pop Art answered this trend with the use of many types of expressions such as irony and parody as the main themes of their creations. Pop culture was the palette and society was the canvas for Pop Art paintings.
Many artists have made their presence known in the Pop Art scene, among them, the most significant contributors to the movement were Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, a Scottish artist known for his sculptures and as one of the pioneers of Pop Art, and Ray Johnson, an American collagist who was remembered by many as “New York’s most famous unknown artist”.
Several other notable works have sprung up during the Pop Art movement today such as Brillo Soap Pads Box created by Andy Warhol in 1964, and Whaam! by Roy Lichtenstein in 1963 which was inspired by a comic strip from DC Comics.
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