There is a reason the pop art movement that began in the 1950s is still in our minds today. These four names might be it…
The pop art movement started in the mid 1950s with New York artists that, before becoming big names in the art industry, actually came from a design and communication background. In fact, the four Pop Art artists we will be talking about today began their careers in commercial art before making their way up the ladder of fine art. Scroll down to find out how these Pop artists got us completely swept away with their unforgettable works.
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It all started with these four New York artists, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenburg. Pop Art came in a time after Abstract Expressionism had been a big hit, and it came to reintroduce identifiable imagery with references from mass media and pop culture into people’s lives, where they used to see big abstract interpretations of life and its deep meaning.
Unlike what had been done in the past, these Pop Art artists wanted to celebrate commonplace objects and people of everyday life, trying to elevate pop culture to the level of fine art. It has become, since, one of the most recognizable styles of modern art.
Most of the artists actually began their careers in commercial art: Andy Warhol was a successful magazine illustrator and graphic designer; Ed Ruscha was also a graphic designer; James Rosenquist started out as a billboard painter. It was this commercial background that trained these artists in the visual vocabulary of mass culture, as well as the techniques to seamlessly merge the worlds of high art and pop culture.
Marilyn Diptych (1962)
One of the most famous Pop Art works ever, this Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe Pop Art painting was a way for the famous painter to deal with Marilyn Monroe’s untimely death in the 1960s and one that will forever be remembered.
Drowning Girl (1961)
Roy Lichtenstein’s artworks were almost always inspired by comic art. One of his most famous Pop Art painting is Drowning Girl from 1961, a time when Pop Art was at its peek and some of Lichtenstein’s most famous works started to appear.
President Elect (1960-1961)
With bold colors and famous references to pop culture, James Rosenquist created President Elect between 1960 and 1961. In the artist’s own words, “The face was from Kennedy’s campaign poster. I was very interested at that time in people who advertised themselves. Why did they put up an advertisement of themselves? So that was his face. And his promise was half a Chevrolet and a piece of stale cake.”
Pastry Case, I (1961-1962)
This ceramic, plaster and metal sculpture by Claes Oldenburg comes as an ironic and irony and earnest reference to American culture, where we can find unappetizing models of food we could expect to find in a typical American diner.
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