Andy Warhol Posters 'n' Pop Art

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The Andy Warhol Pop Art Legacy

Three Coke Bottles
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During the second half of the twentieth century, popular culture and the mass media gained a huge significance in America. The style of art that was both a product and critique of the social milieu was known as pop art. No other artist is more identified with this artistic style as Andy Warhol. His signature soup cans and silk screens helped to define an entire artistic movement making Andy Warhol undoubtedly the “Prince of Pop” in the art world.

Emerging in the late 1950s in England and America, pop art sought to depict the images of mass media advertising, comic books, and consumer products. Pop art much like pop music aimed to appeal to a broad audience and rebelled against the idea of high or elitist culture. It was in this light-hearted environment that the Andy Warhol pop art phenomenon was born. Perhaps the most famous of Warhol’s pieces are his mass produced series of several photographs of movie stars, political figures and other well-known celebrities. His technique involved enhancing the photograph with a simple silk screening method and, upon close inspection of his finished work, it is apparent that the paintings are complete with imperfections. It was Warhol’s aim to produce a large number of the same painting, all of which with their own flaws and errors. By reproducing his flawed work, Warhol wanted to use the image of the celebrity in order to make a comment on American society. It was his belief that the image of the celebrity had become itself a brand. This celebrity brand was ever-changing and had replaced any sense of sacredness or solidity. A well-known example is the painting of Marilyn Monroe. Sadly, the famous Monroe prints were made all the more poignant when she tragically committed suicide the same month as the release of the prints.

The Andy Warhol pop art phenomenon may be best characterized by his ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ silk screen work. In fact, Warhol’s big break into widespread recognition came with the 1962 Los Angeles exhibition of his now famous depictions of the soup cans. Drawn from the mass marketing culture, the ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ appeared larger than life and made a definite statement about the consumer-driven society that had become so prevalent in America.

Andy Warhol defined pop art by changing the way that images are seen. His work was a close interaction between art and popular culture and his strategy was to combine the two by appropriating different well-known cultural images. Andy Warhol was a multi-talented artist who not only influenced the pop art movement, but also shaped and inspired countless artists to come.

Claes Oldenburg, and Roy Lichtenstein are presented alongside works by California artists Ed Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud, and Robert Arneson, among others, underscoring the role of the West Coast in this pivotal movement.


Article written by Jessica Corbett:
Jessica Corbett is an modern day artist and is the proud owner/author of the website Andy Warhol Posters 'n' Pop Art.


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