Pop Art prints are characterised by a deliberate rejection of the styles of the past; emphasizing instead innovation and experimentation in forms, materials and techniques in order to create artworks that better reflected modern society. Our collection places emphasis on colour and form that is sure to bring a fresh perspective into any room
Experimental in nature, Pop Art is known as a forerunner of post-modernism and as a style that both rejected the status quo of art styles of its time (1950’s-60’s) and defined a reimagining of relevant ‘modern’ art in the hearts and minds of young artists of the western world. Described as easily forgotten, mass-produced, young, sexy, glamourous and popular, the emergence of pop art prints held sway mostly in America and Britain, as the primary origins of the culture that inspired it. It is defined by moving away from abstract-based concepts towards more impersonal symbolism, representational of the real world and distinct forms caked with parody and irony. Lauded both commercially and academically, pop art paintings has become one of the most recognised art movements of the 20th century.
Pop artwork takes inspiration from popular and commercial culture. It emerged in the decade following World War II, when mass production and mass consumerism made products inexpensive to the largely middle-class Americans who moved to the suburbs. Technology also made advancements, with television and film steadily dominating radio as the main media outlet for households. The Pop art movement was a rebellion against conventional art, and the artists involved believed that the artworks exhibited in museums failed to reflect the real world. Prints from the Pop Art movement were also identified by a bright colour palette and bold imagery.
Pop art is recognizable thanks to the bright and bold colour palette and the subject matter, which is usually something found in consumer culture.
Media and products are a vital source of inspiration for Pop Artists. Products that include telephones, film posters, soup cans, bottles of soft drinks. Andy Warhol was prolific for using images of famous celebrities and musicians in his artworks.
Bright, vibrant colours are often found in Pop art prints. These colours grab the attention of the viewer, as seen in the works of Keith Haring. Other artists, like Roy Lichtenstein, used the primary colours in his artworks inspired by comic books.
Irony and Satire
One of the main elements of Pop art prints is humour, which artists used to make statements about social and political events in the culture.
Many artists took liberty with painting in the twentieth century, and as a result, this period of time gave birth to a unique art movement, Pop Art.
The most famous of all the Pop artists is Andy Warhol, who would probably be very happy knowing this as he was immensely interested in celebrity. In fact, celebrities invaded much of his artworks and the success of his work then turned Warhol into a celebrity Warhol started off in the art world as a commercial illustrator, working for a shoe manufacturer. When he moved into the fine arts, he hunted for inspiration in gossip magazines and supermarket shelves. Warhol worked with a vast number of mediums, but he is best known for his silkscreen artworks. To create his paintings, Warhol used photographic silkscreen printing, which allowed him to easily produce several versions of the prints. Some of these silkscreen paintings include Marilyn Diptych (1962), Green Coca Cola Bottles (1962).
The comic book-inspired artworks now seen everywhere was thanks to one man: Roy Lichtenstein. His work was influenced not only by comic book strips but popular ads. He often altered the image that would be inspired by a page in a comic book in order to personalise a piece of mass-produced work. Lichtenstein utilised Ben-Day dots, a method of economical mechanical printing that emerged in the nineteenth century. Some of Lichtenstein’s most famous works are Whaam! (1963) and Drowning Girl (1963), basing the latter on a comic book cover.
The American painter, sculptor, and printmaker Jasper Johns dabbled in several art movements, from Abstract art, Neo-Dada, and Pop wall art. Some of his well-known Pop artworks are depictions of the American flag: Flag (1955) and Three Flags (1958). This icon known across the world was the perfect subject for a Pop painting.
Keith Haring’s art started on the streets of New York, drawing in the train stations. Much of his work is a response to social and political events, from the AIDS epidemic, Apartheid in South Africa, drug abuse, and the hardships of the LGBTQ community. Even though the subject matter was oftentimes heavy, Haring’s work was bright and colourful, with large, implementing thick lines to his large canvases. Much of his work was light-hearted and fun to interact with.
Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol created an artwork that seemed to be taken straight from the shelves of supermarkets. Campbell’s Soup Cans is an artwork representing just that: thirty-two Campbell’s Soup cans. The subject matter interested him because of the mass manufacture of the product. Warhol was inspired by his own experience with the brand’s soup, having eaten throughout his youth, when he was bedridden. His preferred flavour was tomato.
A Bigger Splash (1967) by David Hockney
David Hockney moved to California in 1963 from Britain and became fascinated with suburban swimming pools. So much so that he created a series of artworks centred on swimming pools. What intrigued him was the behaviour of the residents that lived in the state, realizing the sunshine and easy-going living effectively made them less tense than those on the east coast. Everyone in California has a swimming pool.
Masterpiece (1962) by Roy Lichtenstein
Masterpiece shows a man and a woman in a car, discussing the male’s upcoming art show. Filled with humour the painting is cartoon-like, removing itself from the realm of ‘high brow’ art. The male, Brad, also features in Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl (1963) painting. Lichtenstein implements his famed Ben-Day dots, which he occasionally enlarged so they could be rendered visible to the audience.
Just What was it that Made Yesterday’s Homes so different, so appealing? (1956) by Richard Hamilton
One of the earliest works of Pop print canvas was British artist Richard Hamilton’s Just What was it that Made Yesterday’s Homes so different, so appealing? The image is a representation of the demand for consumer products in society throughout the 1950s. The artwork is a collage made of images found in American magazines. To the British artist, the collage was intended to be a parody of American advertising, which he realised exploded in the post-war society of the 1950s.