Pop Art: Table of Contents
The Beginnings of Pop Art
Andy Warhol is known to us as one of the co-founders of pop art, but his life was also a work of art in itself. His obsessive reworking of posters and labels which embodied the mechanical reproducibility of art is nearly synonymous with the entire genre itself. Still today, his famous Campbell’s soup renderings, and his portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean are definitive works of modern American art.
Robert Rauschenberg has a crucial place in the narrative of pop art. The eclectic painter embodied in his work a wide array of influences and contemporary trends. As a collaborator of Warhol’s, he helped establish the basis for pop art, especially with his famous “Combines” of the 1950’s, a series of overlapping and interpenetrating paintings and sculptures on wood, canvas, and metal.
Contemporary Pop Art
If you are a fan of Andy Warhol’s visual language, you’ll love Renauld Delorme's playful interpretations. He combines black and white portraits of famous personalties with object-collages. The three-dimensionality of his portraits can be deceptive. Are these the faces of Marilyn Monroe, Kate Moss, or Brigitte Bardot? Or is this simply an accretion of unconnected objects? Is that, in the end, the stuff that fame is made of?
The Croatian artist Sanda Anderlon's works convey a range of impressions. A little bit Brueghel, a little bit Ibiza, her panoramic prints portray 1920’s showgirls, Victorian ladies, and Los Angeles beachgoers against exotic backgrounds. Anderlon’s work is in the spirit of Richard Hamilton’s earlier pop art collages, and their digital compositions are the apotheosis of the pop art method.
The Berlin artist Sandra Rauch is all about the urban environment. Graffiti, photos, and typography are all unified in her pulsating cityscapes.
The Berlin-based American artist Freddy Reitz is squarely in the tradition of pop art. Her depictions of American or French flags remind us of Jasper Johns. Her reproductions of Heinz ketchup bottles or champagne labels return to the original resources of Warhol’s famous works.
The Berlin artist Yeliza transforms pictures of contemporary icons into electric, colorful portraits. These pop portraits of powerful women are particularly elegant when printed large and mounted under acrylic glass.
The portrait is one of the fixtures of pop art. André Monet, in his detailed collages of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, is one of the most compelling contemporary exponents of pop art. His portraits of dead artists like Pablo Picasso or David Bowie capture their creative struggles in strips of color, and turn the grayscale onto their faces like a spotlight.
Pop Art und Cut-Out Prints
Joe McDermott’s works reference Roy Lichtenstein’s classic comic panels. But McDermott’s digital cut-outs bring Lichtenstein into the 21st Century. He translates Lichtenstein’s iconic scenes into the present.
Vincent Poole invents the silhouette anew. His works contain bright colors behind acrylic glass, and are composed of countless symbols and signs of London city life.
History of Pop Art
In its essence, pop art is popular art. Ever since it began in the United States and Great Britain in the 1950’s, it has always been popular in its inspirations and aspirations. Some of the artists who have gravitated towards pop art keep a cool distance to consumer culture, while others have embraced the promise of authenticities that can be bought, worn, and exchanged.
Pop art makes up an enormous part of our visual lexicon. Andy Warhol’s silkscreen Marilyn Monroe portraits, and Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic comic-strips, are world-famous. Pop icons are constantly paid tribute to in consumer products and fashion, sometimes coming full circle to reincorporate the original insights of pop art back into the social worlds from which they originally took rise, this time by reference to pop art itself.
The lettering of Robert Indiana’s monumental LOVE sculpture still shapes collective memory and consumer taste. A particularly lucid example of this is the wall sculpture by Louis Sidoli. Sidoli’s flashy neon pink wall sculpture is felicitous to Indiana's original, but is also mediated by the popularization of Indiana's original.
Pop art’s influences extend across the globe, and many artistic media. Perhaps most notably, it has both taken inspiration from and in turn inspired comic books. If you're interested in learning more, check out our article on the history of photography.
Pop Art: Past and Present
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