Saturday, March 2, 2013

What is so unique about Warhol, Hockney and Lichtenstein?

Prints of celebrities by Andy Warhol, his sculptures of everyday objects, Richard Hamilton's captivating collages of appropriated ad imagery, comic strip-inspired large canvasses of artist Roy Lichtenstein are examples of Pop art, considered an important development of the mid 20th century.

The then-pervasive Abstract Expressionist in New York filled canvasses with vigorously applied paint in an effort to collectively represent inner emotion, whereas Warhol et al prominently employed detailed sculptural techniques, photography, and photomontage to comment on the consumer-led lifestyle around them and also elitism as perceived by them in the domain of art.

Pop art arose in the major art capitals of Europe and America in the 1960. It was quite revolutionary in its unabashed celebration of mass or popular culture. Artists like Seurat, Toulouse Stuart Davis, Willem De Kooning and Lautrec had been keen on infusing popular imagery in their practice, but they had skillfully transformed their common source material, letting their sources to be heard louder than their own art. Lichtenstein based his paintings on comic books. Rosenquist opted for billboards, Peter Blake drew inspiration from record albums and Warhol found it in film stars.

Many experts have taken a deeper at the Pop art evolution to provide an engaging overview of some the most important milestones of the significant movement, and explains the background behind the development of Pop art, adding an enhanced perspective to our understanding of Pop Art as well as its relevance today.

In their woks, household items prominently featured as did celebrities represented as symbols of mass culture smartly packaged for the public consumption akin to a Brillo pad or a tin of soup.Even the national flag was scrutinized by Jasper Johns, who looked to paint easily recognizable subject matter that he could find. However, seen in a broader context, this tendency of Pop artists should never be construed as an utter lack of seriousness. They were biting in their criticism of consumerism, immense brand power, celebrity cult, and public fascination for them, issues as pertinent now as they ever in the past.

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