WHAT IS POP ART? CHARACTERISTICS AND MAIN ARTISTS OF THIS MOVEMENT

what is pop art and more

Pop art is an artistic trend of contemporary art that emerged in the 1950s.

The term derives from the expression “popular art” and is used to denote the repertoire of images of mass consumption of mid-twentieth century society, such as soap operas and advertising.

What is Pop Art?

Pop Art was a movement of artists who understood that the more traditional terms of art consumed by the art classes could be inverted and made accessible to popular culture.

The followers of this pop art movement realized that the renewal of aesthetic norms didn’t come from art, but from the visual production that popular culture provided all the time.

History of Pop Art

The first manifestations of this artistic movement appeared in England, at the hands of rebellious artists who believed that pop art should be closer to everyday customs and that it was not the “property” of the elite.

The Independent Group was founded in London in 1952 and was the precursor of pop art in Britain, consisting of a group in which there were writers, critics, sculptors, and architects.

Its founders were Richard Hamilton, considered the first artist of the pop movement for his collage called “What makes today’s homes so different, so striking”, presented at the Whitechapel Gallery, and Eduardo Paolozzi.

As 1961 rolled around, the pop art movement was formally presented in a multiples exhibition with works by renowned artists such as Derek Boshier, Peter Phillips, Allen Jones, and David Hockney.

As for the term “pop art” it was created by John McHale, in the year 1954, although it’s attributed to the British curator and critic Lawrence Alloway.

Characteristics of Pop Art

Some of them are:

They weren’t constituted as a movement with a defined program but were conceived from collaboration, input, and use of techniques and resources, popular images.

They were used for making works of art, and reproduction was developed for mass communication such as advertising.

Different graphic resources were implemented to design the works of art, such as the characteristic combination of text and image, different typographies, and photographs like those seen in advertising posters.

Analog photographs were also used as technical resources to take advantage of all their possibilities: reductions, photomontage, negatives, enlargements, serial images, etc.

The use of collages and assemblages, works that used elements of everyday life to design, such as graphic media advertisements, soda cans, or flags.

Another recurring theme of the pop art movement is the simulation of everyday objects, such as Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans or Jasper Johns’ Flags.

The most relevant Pop artists

Now we’ll talk about those artists who managed, with their proposals, to democratize art.

Andy Warhol

American artists, born in 1928 and died in 1987, played a central role in the emergence of pop art.

After a successful career as a professional illustrator, Warhol gained worldwide fame for his works, avant-garde cinema, and literature. An interesting character who acted as a liaison between artists and intellectuals, but also between aristocrats, homosexuals, celebrities, models, bohemians, and colorful urban characters, famous for being the author of the Marilyn Diptych.

💯 Do you know Jean Michel Basquiat? His works have traces of Pop Art.

Marta Minujín

Born in Buenos Aires, she studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and La Cárcova. She traveled to Paris in 1961, where she made her first event: The Destruction.

His work was classified as pop, psychedelic, conceptual, and action, revolutionized all pre-established norms, and established a counterculture.

Keith Haring

An American artist, born in Pennsylvania, made a work closely related to the spirit of the pop generation and street culture of the 80s in New York.
The most recurrent themes in his work are death, sex, birth, and war.

Evelyne Axell

She was born in Belgium and is an artist well known for her psychedelic and erotic paintings of nudes and self-portraits on plexiglass where the pop and hedonistic impulses of the 60s interact: the Vietnam War, the sexual liberation of women, the Black Panther movement.

Roy Lichtenstein

The work of this artist is characterized by his irony, the use of benday dots, the language of comics (narrative, onomatopoeia, vignettes), and the mastery of line and industrial colors.

David Hockney

He was born in England in 1937. He’s a painter, British opera and ballet set designer, and engraver, known for his pop art style.
In the ’60s, swimming pools became the protagonists of the most important works of this artist: Peter getting out of Nick’s pool and The Big Splash, are some of the most outstanding.

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