Modern Pop Art – Not Exactly Warhol
While the idiosyncratic Andy Warhol is credited for the Pop Art movement, there were a number of lesser known artists, such as Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi, doing their own thing in the mid 50’s to the mid 60’s. Even though art critics denounced the minimalist paintings as expendable, it has proven to be timeless and enduring. What distinguishes pop art from other styles is its ability to isolate objects giving the onlooker something to deliberate over. Pop art isn’t so much a style, but rather a philosophy that art doesn’t have to be stark and serious.
By my own admission and without guilt I can say, I love Warhol’s work. From his early drawings as a commercial artist to his Brillo Soap Pad sculptures, his work is as enduring as Michelangelo and just as recognizable. What the wig wearing artist did was take American pop culture and threw it back in our faces with a sense of irony. The truly amazing thing about Warhol’s work is you can still see the influence (if not downright plagiarism) of his style in advertising today. Take a closer look at Target commercials.
Though nobody would dare do a Campbell’s soup can again, pop art is alive and well in the 21st century even if it vaguely resembles the cartoonish pieces produced in the 60’s. In other words, pop art has grown up. On Imagekind we feature several new pop artists, who tip their hats to the past while administrating a contemporary aesthetic.
Take the work of Dallas-based photographer Wade Griffin for example. What Griffin accomplishes with his lenses is not as far away from Warhol as one might first think as shoots ordinary objects, places and people and turns them into strikingly interesting images.
Painter Christoph Niemann’s take on pop is a bit closer to the works we saw back in the day. Clean and simple lines with an almost child-like ambiance make his work accessible if not a bit mischievous.
Michael Parker is possibly closest to the pop art masters of the 1960s. The painter/photographer creates colorful renditions of such ordinary objects such as NYC Taxi cabs, VW buses and barcodes. He gives a wink to Warhol with psychedelic watercolors of Marilyn Monroe and the Marxist Revolutionary Che Guevara. Parker also snaps charming portraits of dogs with and without photo-manipulation.
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