Pop art is one of the most recognizable forms of art. Characterized by its use of fun eye catching vibrant colors, pop art is a great way for young pop art artists to express themselves. While pop art has evolved greatly over the years to become a respectable form of art, none of this would have been possible without its forerunners.
Originating from Europe in the mid 1950s and then spreading to America in the late 1950s, pop art quickly rose to fame among art lovers everywhere. Initially many artists challenged it’s authenticity as art since it challenged traditional notions on what art was. However, it was for this same reason that consumers instantly fell in love with pop art turning it into an overnight success.
The origin of pop art has been credited to Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi who co-founded the Independent Group in London. This was a group of artists, architects and writers who explored radical approaches to contemporary visual culture. It arose as a challenge to abstract expressionism. It is the contrast between the two forms of art that made pop art so popular with its fans. It served to fill the void left by abstract expressionism.
Abstract expressionism had become elitist tackling mostly mythology and classic historical themes related to certain cultures. Pop art on the other hand sought to blur the lines between ‘low’ and ‘high’ culture successfully proving that no culture is above the other. It also pulled art back into the real world by mostly being emotionally removed. This was a far cry from abstract expressionism which tried to draw its consumers inwards into the artist’s consciousness.
Pop art became instantly recognizable by its use of commonplace objects and imagery making art even more relatable to its consumers. Anything from a soda can to a well known celebrity could be depicted on a canvas. By doing this, it was able to gain an even larger following from artists who found themselves unable to relate to abstract expressionism.
While the pop art movement was a strong one a lot of this would not have been possible without the work of some artists who worked hard to shape it into what it is today. One of these is Andy Warhol whose name has become synonymous with pop art. Andy Warhol is famous for his portrayal of Mick Jagger, Marilyn Monroe and Campbell soup cans among others in his paintings. Other famous pop art artists of this time include Jasper Johns, Peter Max, Pauline Boty and the more controversial Mel Ramos. These are a but a few of the many names that created amazing pop art pieces.
Today, pop art manages to be more relevant than ever. Various artists use this form of art to make social and political commentary. Its use of media has served to draw in young audiences who now live in a technologically advanced world. Famous pop art artists such as Suzi Nassif, Alex Katz and Yayoi Kusama continue to use pop art.