How many times have we seen this bright and eye catching image of the famous actress Marilyn Monroe?
The Marilyn Diptych (1962)- Andy Warhol
But do you know the history behind this image and this style of painting? This style of painting is known as the Pop Art. It started as an art movement in the 1940s in the UK and US. Before Pop Art started emerging in the world, the world of art was experiencing the post-modern art movement which kept jumping the line between modern and abstract art. As a result, pop art movement was started to challenge the fine and traditional brushstrokes used in abstract expressionism by using bold colours and random objects.
The theme of the pop arts usually includes irony, parody and objects that question the mundane reality.
The artists that shaped the pop art movement from an early stage were Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, Larry Rivers, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns from the UK and the US. This art form of using bright unorthodox colours along with modern designs quickly caught the attention of mass media and started showing up on soda cans and in the form of comic books.
Earliest pop art paintings by Robert Rauschenberg
By creating high contrast images with abstract designs, the aim of the Pop Art movement was to blur the line between high and low culture and make the art more approachable and visually engaging. Pop arts also showcased intense emotions or the desires of human beings in that era.
As Pop art started to get popular, a genre of music that gave away a similar hip and light-hearted feel known as the Pop-music started emerging.
Some of the famous pop artists from the 1950s were Andy Warhol, Eduardo Paolozzi, Frank Cordell, Roy Lichtenstein amongst many others. The predominant colors used by Pop Art artists are yellow, red and blue that instantly catch the eye. This was one art form where there was no limitation to proportions or orietntations of the objects used. Rather, artists would unnecessarily enlarge the objects to make them pop or to make a statement.
Drowning girl – Roy Lichtenstein
Pop art is still very popular in the mass media and commericial art forms as a medium of expression. One can see packaging made with pop art designs, billboards, comic books and even some website designs. With its bright colours and over the top design it sure does catch the eyes of even a person is not much aware of the world of art!
Pop art packaging- Andy Warhol