Pop Art

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Pop Art is images of popular things. Pop-art is images of ordinary objects, mass produced common everyday items that most people like and recognize. items like record labels, or logos, or packaging, and fashion pictures of people, Road signs, hamburgers, money, soda bottles, ( you know, stuff you see around you, anything currently in vogue RIGHT NOW) and machinery are also common subjects. Also included are themes of popular culture taken from movies, television, and advertising art Pop-art is also influenced by mass-media. Webster's dictionary definition of Mass-media: A means of communication (newspapers, radio, motion pictures, television) that is designed to reach the "mass" (majority, most people) of people that it tends to set standards, ideals, and aims of the masses. That is to say, mass-media is a way of sending a message to a vast number of people, and mass media can also influence this vast number of people's way of thinking. Because Mass-media can influence popular culture, it also influences pop-art In the early 1960s Pop Art exploded onto the streets of New York to the immense dismay of the art establishment but to the great delight of the average citizen. Suddenly, T.V. dinners and canned spaghetti, department store dresses making a cultural institution that so regularly excluded Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe suddenly welcoming. Pop Art hardly seems radical and even seems mundane, so used are we to a world saturated with pop icons - celebrities, toys, make-believe characters, catchy words and lines from television shows, food, religious images and international cultural icons, that appear again and again on T-shirts, knapsacks, handbags, running shoes, lip gloss, serviettes, stationery, not to mention more traditional forms of advertising. But it was truly Pop Art that, despite inadvertently promoting the very thing it seemed to be satirising, that is, consumer culture, made the celebration of popular culture possible. For the majority of people, however, Abstract Expressionism left them frustrated and bewildered. Yet it was trumpeted internationally as the triumph of America, as the embodiment of American individualism, and as evidence that Americans were capable of competing with Europe in the area of fine culture. Europe full of their own culture, and America has the campbell s soup can-almost making fun of ourselves. Pop Art, on the other hand, laughed at the critics and plugged right into the culture of the majority. Inspired by the increasing consumerism in American culture and the icons that it produced, Pop artists embraced popular culture and let the populace in on the secret that they had suspected all along: avant-garde art could be understood and enjoyed by everyone. Pop Art actually had its start in Britain in the mid-fifties with the Independent Group, a collaboration of avant-garde artists and intellectuals who were intrigued by the impact of American mass media on British culture since the end of World War II. In 1956 Richard Hamilton, one of the Group, created a collage entitled Just What Is It That Makes Today's Home So Different, So Appealing which already included the elements that would later define the art movement: advertisements, appliances, television and cinema, cheap decor, nudes, and comics - all pieces of modern materialistic society. In a January 1957 letter, Hamilton made a "table of characteristics" for Pop Art: Pop Art is: Popular (designed for a mass audience) Transient (short-term solution) Expendable (easily-forgotten) Low Cost Mass produced Young (aimed at youth) Witty Sexy Gimmicky Glamorous Big business Interestingly, Hamilton was able to define the qualities of Pop Art before it was even a movement of notable size. It is doubtful that any of the American Pop artists, who would claim the movement as their own, saw this list before they began their own Pop Art, but the spontaneous eruption of the same type of art in two different places should hardly be surprising. If American consumerism was strong enough in Britain that it needed to be expressed in a cultural medium, the need could only have been overwhelming in the heartland of consumerism itself. American Pop Art made its appearance roughly in 1960-1961 and was immediately catapulted to popular success. It was in the United States that Pop Art enjoyed its greatest success and developed most fully, where the mockery of consumerism and mass media were most appreciated. Born in 1929 at Stockholm. The son of a Swedish Consul General, he came to Chicago in 1936. After finishing his studies at Yale University, New Haven, he started to work as a reporter. In 1952 he attended a course at the Chicago Art Institute, published drawings in several magazines and began to paint pictures influenced by Abstract Expressionism. Came to New York from Chicago in 1959. embraced new york s vibrant environment, particularly the lower east side-dilapidated. rented a store front called The Store . consisted of women s stockings, shoes, tights, girls dresses signs for 7-up. - fragments torn from reality . objects were made of muslin soaked in plaster over a wire frame w/ ragged edges. he made them into brightly colored enamel dripped and spattered in abstract expressionistic form.-small objects. He was impressed by the way in which the automobiles occupied a nearby showroom, changed his works to size of cars. changed his medium.changed to pieces of cloth stitched together, stuffed with foam rubber, and paper cartons, and painted. of plaster and garbage soaked in striking colors. He also started at this time to make replicas of foods like hamburgers, ice-cream and cakes, which prepared

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