||Pop art started in the UK in the early 50's then spread to the USA, but why is it important?
Born in Britain and exported first to the USA then the rest of the world, 'Pop Art' marked a radical change in the way art interacted with society - Things would never be the same again.
Once the Pop Art movement has spread to the United States, artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein would contribute to this “found art” movement, producing works that were often wholly derived from existing works, or which were painted representations of photographs depicted elements of mass media.
Andy Warhol is particular would become an extremely prolific pop artist, producing silk screen paintings of celebrities and creating parodies of many common advertisements.
The American style of pop art tended to have a flare for the dramatic, while the British style was more humorous and subtle, because Americans tended to be bombarded by mass media and commercialism much more prominently, and so art that derived from this media needed to be that much more exaggerated to have an effect.
The pop art movement was important because it represented a shift in what artists considered to be important source material.
Where as in the past, artists tended to draw inspiration from the sublime—from nature and religion—pop art involved drawing inspiration from the mundane aspects of everyday life, from TV, movies, and repetitive commercials.
It was a movement which sought to connect fine art with the masses and involved using imagery that ordinary people could recognize and relate to.
Warhol's famous soup cans are a prominent example of this focus on the mundane and everyday, and in fact Warhol himself claimed that he painted them because Campbell's soup is what he usually would have for lunch.
One of the main characteristics that distinguishes pop art from other art movements is this focus on derived work.
Most pop art works, instead of deriving from the artist's interpretation of some aspect of reality, derives from the artist's interpretation of art that already exists.
Many of Warhol's paintings for example were nearly exact replicas of existing advertisements, and some were silk screen printings of photographs that had been taken by others.
Roy Lichtenstein's work consisted almost entirely of slightly-altered copies of the original artwork of others, from his comic book panels to his re-interpretations of famous works of fine art.
The pop art stays relevant today because its parody of consumerism still resonates.
The video below on one of America's most famous pop artist, Robert Rauschenberg gives a great overview of the people involved in the movement.
The 'Related videos' section below features a selection of videos on the subject of pop art. We have also included Australian art critic Robert Hughes's doco 'The shock of the new new' for context.
Our feature move this week (Below) is a 2019 version of Fritz Langs futuristic classic 1927 movie 'Metropolis'. The movie explores many of the themes found in pop art.
Robert Rauschenberg - Pop Art Pioneer
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The Funny & The Weird:
Everyone knows toilet paper don't grow on trees, it grows on toilet paper plants, you know - like pineapple !! My dad is actually a doctor and he got so bored at home he did do surgery to an orange !1 I wish I was that “lifeguard” (if you know what I mean;-))
Win A Million By Proving A German Town Doesn’t Exist
Bielefeld is just home to more than 300,000 residents. WRONG! Not really. It’s an illusion, at least according to the conspiracy theory…
Who’d A Thunk It?
What’s Bielefeld? It’s just an almost 800-year-old city, home to 300,000 people, a Germany state university and a castle unless – you believe the joke made by Achim Held in 1993.
Bielefeld wasn’t known for anything on the internet in the ’90s, so computer student science student Achim Held joked about how it didn’t exist.
The Magic Questions
Held built the conspiracy around three questions: Do you know anybody from Bielefeld? Have you ever been to Bielefeld? And do you know anybody who has ever been to Bielefeld?
The City Didn’t Mind At First
The outrageous conspiracy continues to spread, it even got the attention of Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor.
The conspiracy is so famous that Bielefeld’s mayor, Pit Clausen, is getting letters asking if the city truly exists, daily.
For the most part, the town has kind of embraced its newfound popularity.
Who Could Refuse One… Million… Dollars?
Head of Bielefeld Marketing, Martin Knabenreich, said, “we are excited about the creative submissions and are 99.99% sure that we will be able to refute any claim.”
Avocado Breaks Woman’s Heart
The hearts of avocado-toast aficionados might skip a beat when the green mash is spotted at dinner.
But, for one Israeli woman, her love of avocado caused serious heartache.
She consumed an entire spoonful of green paste during a wedding reception before realizing her mistake; she chowed down wasabi, not avocado.
The immediate result of eating a whole spoonful of wasabi was what one might expect; chest constriction and pain that eventually radiated down the woman’s arms.
Avocado lovers (synonymous with lovers of life, lovers of love, everyday heroes) will salute the 60 year old’s constitution, as the pain and discomfort wasn’t enough to make her leave the party.
Instead, she stayed and presumably, partied like she wasn’t just deeply betrayed and attacked by wasabi.
The next day, the depth of the betrayal hit her. She awoke feeling weak, generally uncomfortable, and sought out medical advice.
At the hospital, an ultrasound showed what many already know to be true; missing out on avocado can break your heart.
A ventricle in the woman’s heart was dysfunctioning.
Doctors diagnosed her with ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’, which occurs after a sudden physical or emotional stress.
Modesty Blaise is a 1966 British comic spy-fi film directed by Joseph Losey, produced by Joseph Janni, and loosely based on the popular comic strip Modesty Blaise by Peter O'Donnell, who co-wrote the original story upon which Evan Jones and Harold Pinter based their screenplay.
After the assassination of one of their agents in Amsterdam, British Secret Service chief Sir Gerald Tarrant recruits former criminal mastermind Modesty Blaise to protect a shipment of diamonds en route to Abu Tahir, the Sheikh of a small Middle Eastern kingdom.
The shipment has also attracted Gabriel, the head of a criminal organization that includes his accountant McWhirter and bodyguard Mrs. Fothergill. Modesty believes that Gabriel, who maintains a compound in the Mediterranean, is dead, but he reveals himself to her.
In exchange for an exclusive discount on the kingdom's oil exports, the British government delivers periodic diamond shipments to the Sheikh.
Blaise, who enjoys an ongoing love-hate relationship with law enforcement, is recruited not only for her competence, but because she is the Sheikh's adopted daughter and thus trusted by him implicitly.
Modesty agrees to the arrangement, on the condition that she is given total immunity by the British government and complete freedom to deliver the diamonds how she sees fit.
With Sir Gerald monitoring her from afar, Modesty travels to Amsterdam, where she reunites with her former lover Paul Hagen, a Secret Service agent and aide to Sir Gerald.
She calls upon her longtime partner, Willie Garvin, who is reuniting with an old flame, Nicole, who may have information on Gabriel through her employer, an illusionist associated with him.
Modesty narrowly survives several attempts on her life by Gabriel's assassins, whose failure leads to their swift execution by the ruthless Mrs. Fothergill. Modesty continually toys with Hagen, first seducing him before stealing his gun and disappearing.
When Gabriel learns that Nicole is working with Modesty and Willie, he orders her assassinated.
The illusionist sends thugs to have her killed, and they succeed when Modesty and Willie fail to intervene in time. Modesty and Willie set themselves up as live bait to draw Gabriel out, but find themselves pursued by Tarrant and a jilted Hagen, being briefly arrested before quickly escaping with the help of some smoke bombs.
When Modesty attempts to identify and infiltrate the boat being used by Gabriel for the planned diamond theft, she is lured into a trap and captured. Gabriel reveals his true plan, to use Modesty as leverage to force Willie to steal the diamonds for him.
Willie reluctantly agrees to the arrangement, successfully stealing the diamonds from under Tarrant and Hagen's noses.
He and Modesty are subsequently taken to Gabriel's island fortress, where they are promptly thrown into prison cells. Gabriel offers Modesty to join forces, but she refuses.
Willie and Modesty manage to escape and kill Mrs. Fothergill, and signal their location to the Sheikh's forces.
The Sheikh leads his army to the island, leading to an all-out battle with Gabriel's forces and ending in his capture and the diamonds reaching their intended owner.
In his desert camp, the Sheikh leaves Gabriel tied up outside to dehydrate.
McWhirter suddenly appears in Highland dress to free his employer, though no one seems to notice or care.
When the Sheikh asks Modesty what he can do for her, she asks for the diamonds.
He responds by laughing boisterously and she seems to go along with it, but suddenly breaks the fourth wall by looking directly at the camera as the film ends in a freeze-frame shot.