Pop Art is art made from commercial items and cultural icons such as product labels, advertisements, and movie stars. In a way, Pop Art was a reaction to the seriousness of Abstract Expressionist Art. Pop Art is meant to be fun. This movement began in the 1950s, but became very popular in the 1960s. It started in the United Kingdom, but became a true art movement in New York City with artists like Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.
Pop Art uses images and icons that are popular in the modern world. This includes famous celebrities like movie stars and rock stars, commercial items like soup cans and soft drinks, comic books, and any other items that are popular in the commercial world. There are a number of ways that artists use these items to create art such as repeating the item over and over again, changing the color or texture of the item, and putting different items together to make a picture.
The first art work I’m going to look at is Roy Lichtenstein’s “Hopeless” (1963). The style this artist works in, he reproduces the images from comic books by hand on canvas, literally. The romance themed images that he paints ask us to question our own priorities, question our overdramatic love lives, our love of movies and fantasy and what is blinding us or distracting us from the real problems in American society.
Black outlines, size and shape is the three main ingredients in his paintings. Blocks of yellow that represents this woman’s hair compliment her fairly pale skin tone. Single blocks of color represent a background and a foreground. A thought bubble above her head allows the viewer a glimpse into the subject’s mind. This Pop artist, through his use of techniques of mass media and appropriation of widely circulated subject matter, mostly advertisements and cartoons, made a statement about art, culture and a prediction about what would soon become of both.
Next artist I wanted to talk about is Jeff Koons. I particularly enjoy his art works in general, I’ve heard about him before and I think his works are very modern, very entertaining and eye-catching. His artworks scream “FUN” and “COLOR”. He is a great definition of Pop Art, with his large sculptures as if it was his attitude and bold colors it gives the viewer a great experience of the art world. People loved and still love his work, not to say that he’s commercial but what about Pop Art doesn’t say “look at me” because of the sizes, colors, forms and shapes every Pop Art artist uses.
So this is one of his most famous sculptures “Balloon Dog”. Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating in this case is gold creates this glossy balloon-like sculpture of a dog and when standing close to it, it will bend your own reflection around its’ smooth pert curves. Using the recognizable form of a balloon twisted into the shape of a dog, Koons has frozen a moment in time, exaggerating both scale and material. Balloon Dog (Gold) is literal and abstract.