Art Introduction: What is Pop Art?

Published: Tuesday 27 March, 2018

Pop Art is the abbreviation of popular art, also known as new realism. It represents a popular culture, which reflects the social and cultural values of the young generation grew up after the war, striving to express themselves and pursue revolutionary.


The term “Pop Art” first appeared in 1952~1955 years by a group of young artists at the independent community forum in London. They believe that the urban culture created by the public is an excellent material for modern art creation. Facing the impact of business civilization in the consumer society, artists should not only face up to it, but also fight for art. The artist who vigorously promoted the development of this trend in practice was R. Hamilton. In the "this is tomorrow" personal exhibition of 1956, he held a collage work of tennis players with the letters "POP". And this work has become a banner of pop art. Representatives of the British pop art are: Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton and Peter Blake.


American Pop Art appeared later than the English one, it inherited the spirit of Dadaism in art. Trash, merchandise poster, movie advertisement and various newspapers were used in the works. American pop artist claimed that the art they are engaged in is similar to the American primitive art and Indian art, which is the continuation and development of the cultural heritage of the United States. The influential artist are  Edward Hopper, James Gill, Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Roy Lichtenstein.


British artist Richard Handelton had the characteristics of pop art as follows: Universal (designed for the masses), short (short program), forgettable, cheap, mass-produced, young (its object is the young), flashy, sexy, deceptious and charming.


Pop art is a satire of the Philistine's greedy nature. In a word, pop art is the predecessor of the bottom of the art market. The mass reproduction of printed art by pop artists was controversial. Some of the early pop artists sought the opportunity for the museum to be sponsored. Their works could not be preserved for long because they were created with a lot of cheap pigments. This has also caused some controversy. While the feature of pop art is that it has a very special and long-term influence on fashion. A lot of clothing designers and graphic designers are inspired by the Pop art.


The creative feature of pop art is to borrow the cultural symbols from the commercial society and sublimate the theme of art. Its appearance not only undermines the elegance and vulgarity that art has always followed, but also makes a qualitative change in the trend of artistic creation.


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