Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ART. Part 2 Group 1 Section 8

I believe art has major influences on our society and culture.  Art can help catalyze political campaigns, civil rights movements, societal reforms  - practically anything.  One art form that I think had major effect on our culture was the Pop art movement.

Webster describes Pop art as "art based on modern popular culture and the mass media, especially as a critical or ironic comment on traditional fine art values.". This type of art did not look like your typical Picasso painting or Donatello sculpture, this was something different, Pop Art was the art of popular culture. It was the visual art movement that depicted a sense of optimism during the post war consumer boom of the 1950's and 1960's. It accompanied the globalization of pop music and youth culture. Pop Art was young and fun and hostile to the artistic establishment. It included different styles of painting and sculptures and graffiti, but what they all had in common was an interest in mass-media, mass-production and mass-culture.

When I think of pop art the first person to come to mind is Andy Warhol.  He originally worked as a 'commercial artist' and his subject matter was derived from the imagery of mass-culture: advertising, comics, newspapers, TV and the movies.  Warhol felt that images like celebrities and consumer products had been stripped of their meaning and emotional presence through their mass-exposure in the media. His detached approach was always the same: "I think every painting should be the same size and the same color so they're all interchangeable and nobody thinks they have a better or worse painting." Warhol saw this aesthetic of mass-production as a reflection of contemporary American culture: "What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it” Warhol embodied the spirit of American popular culture and elevated its imagery to the status of museum art.  

Pop art as street art had a major impact on American culture.  It opened society’s eyes to new forms of art, art no longer was depicted as a certain form with strict sets of rules it street art could be almost anything.  Street art could mean anything, it was just trying to make a point or bring awareness to anything the artist chose.    

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called “Exit through the Gift Shop”.  In this documentary a man followed around and recorded famous street artist like Banksy and discovers secretes behind this pop art movement and what went on behind the scenes.  http://www.banksyfilm.com/synopsis.html?reload

1 comment:

  1. Call me a philistine, but Campbell's soup still doesn't look artsy to me.