While art is often enjoyed primarily outside the mainstream of society, pop art is often an important exception.
What Is Pop Art?
Pop art initially emerged during the 1950s and 1960s and generally includes imagery from “popular” culture such as film, music, news and advertising — hence the name “pop art.” The pop art movement has always challenged fine art traditions by an emphasis on commercialism and contemporary styles.
A Most Recognized Form of Modern Art
One of the best attributes of pop art is how recognizable it usually is to everyday people. Because pop art is typically drawn from mass media seen by a wide audience, the resulting artwork uses identifiable imagery — for example, Andy Warhol’s silkscreen prints of Campbell’s Soup and Marilyn Monroe.
Of course, recognition does not always translate to acceptance. Art “purists” accustomed to “high art” often scoff at pop art. Nevertheless, the purists represent a distinct minority compared to the masses that enjoy pop art in all of its sensationalized and commercial forms.
The American and British Origins of Pop Art
Pop art is usually thought of as originating in England while being heavily influenced from afar by American culture. In a western world dominated by technology and capitalism, there was plenty of inspiration for pop artists on both sides of the Atlantic. Both British and American pop artists deftly blended humor, parody and irony with cultural icons such as soup cans and beverage bottles.
This use of mass-produced imagery was often derided by critics making snarky comparisons to “cartoonish” figures. However, such critics totally missed the important trend that cartoons themselves were a new and popular form of art for average readers and consumers. Pop art in the 1950s and beyond celebrated a new respect for satire’s place in the world of art. Some new trends are best appreciated with a healthy dose of hindsight — in case you don’t remember, the Beatles were initially dismissed by many as an insignificant boy band from England.
Pop Artists and Consumer Culture
Pop art first changed the way that society is viewed — and then it redefined the place of art in the economy. Magazine covers, shop windows and billboards were all used as vehicles to display pop art as a marketing vehicle for selling more magazines and other consumer goods. It wasn’t long before the products being sold were themselves pop art items such as coffee mugs and wallpaper.
The pop art background includes a diverse group of male and female artists. For example, Roy Lichtenstein focused on comics and visual language. Idelle Weber, Tom Wesselman, Marjorie Strider, Ed Ruscha and Rosalyn Drexler are five examples among a long list of distinctive artists that helped make personalized pop art a lasting part of consumer culture.
Further Growth and Current Relevance of Pop Art
Changes in technology during the 1980s, 1990s and beyond have contributed to a renewed interest in personalized pop art. Contemporary pop art themes include conspicuous consumption and individual indulgence.
Perhaps of more importance to business owners and managers, the use of pop art has evolved into an effective tool for illustrating product aesthetics. In a visual world when shoppers often make a buying decision within a few seconds, today’s pop artists are creating images that “grab” attention and make a “lasting impression” — pop art is once again being appreciated as an effective marketing tool.
You don’t need a famous pop artist to put the marketing benefits of pop art to work for you. However, you do need experts like Artwork Abode who know what they are doing when it comes to display photography and digital editing tools.
How would you define pop art? Can pop art help your business? Please contact Artwork Abode if you would like some professional help with how to use pop art in your business activities. Don’t forget to take a moment to share your pop art views by sharing this article and commenting below.