Pop art is originally an art movement that originated in the 1950s and had its point of view in the 1960s in America and Great Britain. The inspiration for pop art came from commercial culture.
Different cultures and countries contributed to the movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
Pop art often uses images used in commercial advertisements. Labels on products and logos feature prominently in the art of pop art artists. Well known are the labels of Campbell's Soup Cans, used by Andy Warhol. Even the labeling on the outside of a retail food shipping box has been used as the subject of pop art. A good example of this is the Campbell's Tomato Juice Box from 1964, by Andy Warhol.
Pop art, which emerged in Britain in the mid-1950s, began as a revolt against dominant approaches to art and culture and traditional notions of what art should be. Young artists believed that what they learned in art school and what they saw in museums had nothing to do with their lives or the things they saw around them every day. Instead, they turned to sources such as Hollywood movies, advertisements, product packaging, pop music, and comic books for their visuals.
In 1957, pop artist Richard Hamilton listed the "characteristics of pop art" in a letter to his friends, the architects Peter and Alison Smithson:
popular (designed for a large audience)
transient (short term)
disposable (easily forgotten)
young (aimed at youth)
Modernist critics were shocked by the pop artists' use of such "low" subjects and their seemingly uncritical treatment of them. In fact, pop brought art to new subjects as well as new ways of presenting it in art, and can be seen as one of the first manifestations of postmodernism.
Although both British and American pop art were inspired by similar subjects, British pop art is often seen as distinctive from American.
Early pop art in Britain was fueled by American popular culture viewed from a distance, while American artists were inspired by what they saw and experienced while living within that culture.
In the United States, pop style was a return to representational art (art that depicts the visual world in a recognizable way) and the use of hard edges and separate shapes after the painterly looseness of abstract expressionism. By using impersonal, everyday imagery, pop artists also wanted to move away from the emphasis on personal feelings and personal symbolism that were characteristic of Abstract Expressionism.
In Britain, the movement was more academic in its approach. While it used irony and parody, it focused more on what the American popular imagery represented, and its power to manipulate people's lifestyles.
Pop art is a form of art that is emphatically present. it comes into its own best on a calm white wall with lots of empty space around it. Although pop art can also look fantastic if it hangs and stands next to each other a lot. The appearance is of course very different than when the artwork has some free space on it.
If you want to know more about pop art, you are of course always welcome in my studio at the art gallery in Eindhoven.
Andy Warhol was an American artist who lived from 1928 to 1987.
In the 1960s he was the main exponent of the pop art movement in America. After an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became known for his revolutionary series of serigraphs and paintings of famous objects, such as Campbell's soup cans, and celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrities and advertising, Warhol created his slick images of everyday subjects from his famous Factory studio in New York City. In doing so, he created the appearance that the products were mass-produced. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, especially the commercial technique of screen printing, completely revolutionized art making.
Working as an artist, as well as a director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to leading the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure on the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was also notably a mentor to artists such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Campbell's Tomato Juice Box, performed in 1964, is one of Andy Warhol's iconic box sculptures that came to define the pop art movement. It is a replica of the boxes used to package and ship Campbell's Tomato Juice. This work is part of the larger series of box sculptures that Warhol created in 1964 and exhibited at his second exhibition at the Stable Gallery, New York. This exhibit, which included his Kellogg's Cornflakes, Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Brillo Soap Pads box sculptures, transformed the gallery into what appeared to be a supermarket warehouse. It was a dazzling show that became a rallying point for both those for and those against pop art.
Campbell's Tomato Juice Box, illustrates how Warhol further developed his images of consumer products in three dimensions. The origins for Warhol's box sculptures were laid in early 1962 when Warhol produced a three-dimensional version of his Campbell Soup Cans paintings. Over the next year and a half, he further developed this original idea by screen printing imitation lettering and logos from consumer products such as Campbell's Tomato Soup, Kellogg's Cornflakes and Heinz Tomato Ketchup onto screen-printed plywood boxes. Between March and April 1964, in anticipation of his Stable Gallery exhibition, he then worked with craftsmen to fabricate numerous plywood boxes identical in size and shape to supermarket cartons. He painted and silkscreened these with stencils with Gerard's help. Malanga and Billy Name Linich.
He brilliantly undermined traditional notions of art making. Warhol not only embraced the industrial process of screen printing, but radically redefined the traditional notions of sculpture in general.
Warhol embraced an artistic process reminiscent of a factory assembly line and brilliantly envisioned the ready-made Duchampian in the context of 1960s American consumerism.
In a sharp indictment of the values of bourgeois culture, Warhol's box sculptures are a deadpan cultural critique of a materialistic and mass-produced society that remains unparalleled in the history of American art.
You can recognize my Pop Art by my designs that are emphasized by a sharply defined, photo-like rendering. Often with a fluid art background over which an object is displayed in a line structure. In my Pop Art, this object or figure will often be a silhouette of a person, or several people. People who dance, people who kiss or love. Depends on what touches and emotions me.
Every summer I take a theme that recently positively motivated and inspired me. Sad themes, such as wars, abuse of the earth, power or people, for example, I bend to the opposite theme and then emphasize that.
My theme In the summer of 2022 was:
“A Kiss. How can it not be inspiring for an artist?”.
My theme for 2024…?
I'm still waiting for the right inspiration.