Pop Art: Is It Popping up or Popping Off?

What’s your favorite style of design? Are you more of a minimalist designer or perhaps you’re more into the rustic design space? With so many different types of design styles and trends, it can be tough to keep up with what’s popular and what’s a fleeting thought. Pop Art is a style that has been around for several decades, but is it still on trend? To answer that question, we need to start by examining the origins of Pop Art and explore if those originating principles still apply today.

The Quick History Lesson On Pop Art

Pop Art came into its own during the culture movement of the 1960s in the United States, but the style of Pop Art originated in Britain. A group of creatives known as the Independent Group met regularly at the Institute for Contemporary Art in London. The style of Pop Art was created sometime in the 1950s as a response to the commercialism and pop culture changes of the time. Some of the group members were Richard Hamilton, Lawrence Alloway, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Alison and Peter Smithson. When it came to Pop Art, any pop culture reference was fair game for inspiration. Artists could base their designs on anything from a newspaper ad to a popular movie. There weren’t limitations placed on what could be used for guiding a Pop Art design and what couldn’t. One of the most famous early pieces of Pop Art was created by Richard Hamilton. The art is entitled: Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? The artwork was established in 1956 to be included in the “This Is Tomorrow” exhibit that took place in London.

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After about a decade, Pop Art made its way to the United States. Some of the most prominent names on the United States side of things were Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg. Unlike the British pioneers of Pop Art, the United States artists didn’t start with a group. These artists emerged on the scene with solo works that found fame independently. Of these artists, Andy Warhol is probably one of the most recognizable names. He created several Pop Art pieces on celebrity figures, brands, advertising campaigns, and media. Some of his most notable works are:

–        Marilyn Diptych – 1962

–        Coca Cola – 1962

–        Big Electric Chair – 1967

–        Mickey Mouse – 1981

–        Self-Portrait – 1986

Pop Art Today

With an art style that originated nearly 80 years ago, you might ask the question: Is Pop Art still relevant today? It’s no secret that trends come and go, and things that were once culturally relevant aren’t so important anymore. Whether it be your parents’ favorite clothing item from the past or an outdated educational concept, the reality is some things have to be moved aside to make room for new, more innovative things.

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There is definitely a place in our society for Pop Art. One might argue that the Pop Art movement is more important now than ever. Pop Art is an ever-present example of what happens when art and culture combine. There’s an adage that states, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This statement couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to finding the words to articulate our current culture and political climate. You can’t always find the words to express your opinions or how you feel about something, but you’ll often find an image to aid in expressing yourself. If you’re looking for a modern-day example of how art and culture colliding, you can take a look at any meme. It’s true that memes aren’t always done in the traditional Pop Art style, but they do represent what Pop Art was originally created for. Memes demonstrate how we can use our imaginations to draw parallels between events and artistic references.

We don’t have to look far to answer the question of whether or not Pop Art is still relevant and necessary today. The ability to express yourself and your views through art is an activity that we should carry on through the ages. Most people prefer to ingest information visually, and visual media is often interpreted more easily. Additionally, visual forms of expression, such as Pop Art can go beyond language and cultural barriers. Some messages are universal and have no borders.