Pop Art is an artistic movement that arose in the mid 1950s. It was mostly created and developed within the art-loving cities of New York and London. The inspiration for pop art paintings was essentially rooted in western Capitalist society and they therefore reflected the rapid progress of production and consumption during those years. The combination of pop and art does not represent a single artistic style but it is a term that collectively merges several works of art that were created between the mid 50’s and the mid 60’s by a few artists in order to reflect society’s ideals in an ironic and critical way.
The pop art artists of that time were creating in a lot of different areas such as: movies, theater, fashion, plastic art , music and paintings. Classic Pop Art Paintings include Andy Warhol’s ‘Cans of Campbell Soup’ and ‘A Shot of Marilyn Monroe’, plus Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Drowning Girl’ and ‘Whaam’. Both of these artists remain incredibly acclaimed and popular till this day.
Pop art paintings are characterized by a choice of subject borrowed from the culture of modern society and are often painted in bright industrial colors. Artists such as Warhol extract the every-day object from its normal, daily context and transform it into a symbolic icon. They do this by blowing up the images, coloring them with bright luminous paints and mechanically duplicating them and placing them next to one another – almost like manufactured products in a factory.
As bland, kitschy objects are reproduced to become the main subject of artwork, the line between art and reality becomes more and more blurred. The artists use irony to attack our modern consumerist society, and even more ironically have themselves created images that are now wide-spread, reproduced products all over the planet.
Pop Art Paintings these days, often portray music and movie icons in bright and industrial colors, mirroring the effect used by Warhol and the other painters of this artistic style. The images of these popular icons can be extracted from famous movie scenes or iconic photographs. Some artists now create paintings and portraits of this style from personal photos, which make for great original gifts for others.
by Konrad Sanders