The emergence of Pop Art changed the world’s view of art. Its influences and aspirations are so great and so significant that today it is still studied and practiced by many artists around the world. What does this phenomenon really represent and how is it identified?
What is Pop-art?
Pop-art is an abbreviation of the term « Popular Art ». It is actually an art movement that first appeared in Great Britain in the mid-1950s and then reached the United States at the end of the same period. It is characterized by a particular attachment to popular culture and consumerism.
Thus, instead of relying on the ideas and techniques used in Abstract Expressionism (its predecessor), it focused on the media and everyday objects. In this way, artists could be seen turning newspapers, magazines, comic books, cans and other objects into works of art. They especially liked the idea of making masterpieces out of commonplace objects and thus proved that art could emerge from any source.
Over time, this cultural phenomenon became popular because of its originality and accessibility. In addition, it affects several areas of culture, particularly painting. Today, this art is a great source of inspiration for many people. It is most often practiced by painters of the pop art style such as Nathalie Lathil, a worthy representative of the movement who has a pronounced taste for Vanities, Fetishism and especially the Feminine.
What’s the history of Pop-art?
Pop-art was born in England in the middle of the 20th century after the Second World War. It began with the Independent Group (IG), a a collective of painters, critics, writers and sculptors. The word Pop first appeared in 1947 in a collage by Eduardo Paolozzi entitled « I was a Rich Man’s Plaything ». The full phrase was later pronounced by Lawrence Alloway, himself a member of the group.
The current then spread to America where it quickly gained momentum. Indeed, if Great Britain is considered to be the cradle of the movement, it was the United States that made it famous in the 1960s with artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. However, it should be noted that although they are based on similar ideas, the Pop of the two countries differs slightly. The former was inspired by American popular culture seen from afar, while the latter is directly related to it. In addition, the American style is livelier with more pronounced stylistic codes and colours.
This contemporary art also had precursors among the Western avant-gardes such as Dadaism and Marcel Duchamp. From the United States, it was exported all over the world. In France, for example, a group of intellectuals, led by the painter Yves Klein and the art critic Pierre Restany, created the « New Realism » movement which is a French version of Pop Art. Moreover, some critics have castigated the choice of Pop-style artists to break with the principle of uniqueness by mass producing images and objects. Thus, reproducing the latter in large numbers, in several sizes and in different colours was seen as a way of desacralizing the artistic work. This was new and therefore represented a revolution in the history of art.
What are the characteristics of Pop-art?
The art is easily recognizable for its dynamism and its rather unique style. The subjects, media and methods it uses are borrowed from popular mass culture and it draws its inspiration from products used in everyday life. Pop-art creations are known for their bright and vivid colours. The predominant and frequently used colours are red, blue and yellow. These three colours can be seen in many works by the famous artist Roy Lichtenstein. Lichtenstein had developed a style that was reflected in his comic strip reproductions and was distinguished by the presence of black outlines and the use of very luminous pigments.
One of the main elements that define the current is humour. Some Pop artists often used it by giving objects exaggerated dimensions and aspects. To reproduce images quickly and in large quantities, representatives of the movement used printing techniques specific to the industrial and commercial sector. Thus, the first achievements of the British trend were collage.
Artists combined several different materials to form figures or assembled disparate images on the same canvas. Most of these works were therefore derivatives of existing works. In his factory, as he liked to call his studio, Andy Warhol used screen printing to duplicate his paintings. Other art pioneers preferred to use lithography as an engraving process.
Where to find Pop-art style paintings in Paris?
Nowadays, Pop-art artists are numerous in Paris. Some of them have their own website and you can go there to admire their paintings. The Centre Pompidou and the Maillol Museum are two places that frequently exhibit paintings of several art legends. In addition, Paris is considered the capital of painting. As a result, the city abounds with several art galleries that you can visit as an amateur to view and even be inspired by the paintings of renowned artists.
They also present real masterpieces painted by young artists. Among these establishments, we can mention The pop art store, the 122 Galerie Vieceli, the Georges-Philippe and Nathalie Vallois gallery, the Art Génération, the Carré d’artistes, the Taglialatella, the Champop, the Marian Goodman Gallery, etc. Finally, there are platforms for selling works of art online. You can make your purchases there in complete security, have them delivered to your home or simply view the paintings on offer..
Despite more than half a century of existence, the Pop Art movement has remained present in our societies. Not only has it made a name for itself in the art world, but it continues to inspire and seduce many painters and art lovers.