History of Pop Art
What makes art a part of the “Pop Art” movement? One of the great beauties of pop art is its ability to cross boundaries that other forms of artistic expression cannot breach: some boundaries, in fact, which other art forms have themselves created.
The beginnings of a movement
Pop art as a movement got its start in the 1950s. Up to that point, art was a very traditional field. There were strong feelings about what art should be, how it should be done, and what the dominant culture should be.
Young artists revolted against these traditions. When they looked at the world around them, it had almost no connection to anything they were learning. The muted world of stuffy art museums had nothing to do with their lives, interests, or aspirations.
What these students wanted to do was to connect their passions — art — with their real lives and with the realities of the culture around them. They evaluated those things that seemed most important to the world and took inspiration from them to create art. These artists wanted to show appreciation for popular culture rather than the elitist culture of traditional art.
Comic books, packagings, the various forms of pop music, Hollywood, and television advertising all featured heavily on pop art canvases and prints. Pop art was accessible to the masses, aimed at the young, inspired by business and culture, and valued the witty and sexy.
The elements of true pop art
Pop art takes ordinary themes and celebrates them while staying true to them. It is inspired by the everyday and features lots of primary colors, abstract looks, and stylings that remind the viewer of comic books, photography, or video. Pop art should also be sarcastic or ironic.
One of the features of pop art is the way it removes art production from its close association with the artist’s own personal hand. Because of this, pop art is more accessible. It doesn’t require a sophisticated mastery of artistic technique: all it takes is a creative mind.
Some types of pop art uses silk screening and printing to produce subjects. Other types of pop art incorporate mass-produced items with handmade, 3D items. Some pop art uses text or combines text, objects, and images together.
The biggest names in pop art
As with all art movements, pop art has had its famous artists and great productions. One of the greatest names in pop art is Roy Lichtenstein. His production Drowning Girl used a comic book look with speech balloons to capture a drowning woman’s preference for death over asking for help from her lover.
Another inspirational name in pop art is Andy Warhol. Perhaps his most famous work, Campbell’s Soup Cans, was responsible for launching the pop art movement in the United States. The work was considered offensive at the time, but it sparked a conversation that elevated pop art.
Taking a place in history
Pop art is accessible to anyone. With quality pop art canvases that are purpose made for this style of art, and a little bit of imagination, anyone can express their vision of the culture around them or those elements of everyday life that make life special.
Whether you choose a family photo, something from the celebrity world, a mass media event, or simply an ordinary object that speaks to you, try merging these items and ideas with bright colors or 3D patterns.
Another type of pop art expression involves contrasting low and high culture references. You can also use pixelation and themes reminiscent of video games, repeated objects, collages of loosely related ideas or objects, and overlaid images and objects to create your own pop art masterpiece.