Pop Art


The pop art movement was largely a British and American cultural phenomenon that occurred in the late 1950s and 1960s and was named after the art critic Lawrence Alloway . He looked for a way to refer to the prosaic iconography of his painting and sculpture. The different works of pop artists were characterized by the representation of all aspects of popular culture.  This culture had an important impact on contemporary life and art; the variety in its iconography reflected in television, comics, movie magazines and all forms of advertising that existed at the time was presented in an emphatic and objective way, with overwhelming immediacy, and through a series of precise commercial techniques used by the media from which the iconography itself was borrowed.


What is pop art?

Pop art was a movement that developed in England and the United States as an artistic reaction that faced abstract expressionism , which was considered empty and elitist, through the use of images taken from the consumer society.


Characteristics of pop art

Among the main characteristics of pop art we can mention the following:

  • There was a rejection of abstract expressionism .
  • They tried to put art in contact with the world and with reality .
  • It used a figurative and at the same time realistic language to express the different cultures and ideas of the contemporary world .
  • Its main themes were taken from the cities , social aspects , magazines, comics, cinema, radio and television.
  • It was an art that did not have any kind of critical thinking .
  • The subjects that were represented were conceived as reasons that justified the existence of the painting.Pop art What is it, characteristics, history, importance, sculpture, painting
  • The language was figurative and represented real objects .
  • It represented the expressionless character , in a frontal way and in many occasions in a repetitive way.
  • He mixed the painting with some real objects within the same work.
  • He had preferences for social class , fame, and violence . It focused a lot on sex and eroticism.
  • The forms that were represented were made on natural scales and sometimes enlarged.

History of pop art

The pop art was born in England in the decade of the 50’s.  It was born from the thoughts and reactions of different artists that went against abstract expressionism , since for them it was not normal or common in people. The term “Pop Art” was initially given by the British critic Lawrence Alloway , who, in 1958, thus referred to popular art in his essay The Arts and the Mass Media . However, the movement itself was born in London, England, by means of a work by Richard Hamilton called “What is it that makes today’s homes so different, so fun?”, A collage considered the first work of Pop Art.


Through pop art, artists manage to represent the different public artistic figures that are or have been most representative for a nation, and from this, messages are created for nations through different everyday elements creating links between people and communities. plays. Find a way to approach the emblematic elements of a country.


Its forms are free and full of color looking for a way to reflect stridency with meaning and spontaneity . Basically we cannot speak of a pop art architecture, but several buildings have taken examples of its lines and colors.


The process of making the sculptures is manual and totally handmade , by means of molds in which fiberglass is placed and then color is added. The sources of the sculpture are based on the daily reality of the moment, of the mass culture that arises from the reproduction industry. Simple and recognizable images are sought and placed in the category of art.


The colors used in pop art are generally quite bright, pure and without much nuance, we could say flat. Mainly, acrylic paint is used.

Representatives of pop art

  • Richard Hamilton : Pioneers of British Pop Art , creator of the collage entitled What is it that makes today’s homes so different, so funny? Which made a criticism of the consumer society, eroticism, advertising and technology that caused an empty society .
  • Roy Lichtenstein : His compositions are made based on the cartoons of comics , with cartoons, knitting techniques and primary colors bright.
  • Tom Wesselmann : He was interested in topics related to sensuality and women were seen by him as a consumer object . He worked the assemblies where he incorporated real objects and recreated bourgeois spaces.
  • Andy Warhol : Working with photographs of press contemporary and repeated multiple times on the same surface. He thus described the dehumanization practiced by the modern mass media.

Examples of Outstanding Pop Art Works

Some examples of pop art that have been recognized worldwide are the following:

  • The soup cans Campbell , representing the American consumerism.
  • Marilyn Diptych , by Andy Warhol, was a series of photographs of Marilyn Monroe in which one part is in color and the other fades into black and white.
  • Whaam ! From Roy Lichtenstein, which refers to the image of a modern American hero.
  • Girls Drowning by Roy Lichtenstein, which referred to broken hearts.
  • I was the toy of a rich man by Eduardo Paolozzi, made of images of ex-military men that had been published in different magazines, to refer to culture, technology and glamor.

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