Andy Warhol once said “Pop art is for everyone”. Today, pop art is so prolific in our Western society there would be few who are not, at some point in their lives, mesmerised by its charm.
The post war success of Andy Warhol paintings launched an entire art genre, Pop Art, into the limelight.
Those who welcome commercialism love the ease with which his pop art communicates to the marketplace. Those who shun commercialism love its ironic reflection of our materialistic world. Those who don’t care to critique at all, simply love its colour, fun and spirit.It is perhaps Andy Warhol’s talent to influence the latter market demographic that resulted in his rise to fame as an artistic genius. Today, his appeal crosses cultural, socio-economic and political boundaries. When an Andy Warhol exhibit comes to town, everyone goes to see it.
After completing a fine arts degree in New York, Warhol began his career as a commercial artist, being paid to help sell mass produced goods. He went on to become one of the most successful commercial artists of the 1950s. In fact, of all time. I mean, how many advertising creative and graphic designers can you name that have had as much impact?
Once Warhol became renowned as a commercial artist, he opened his own art studio The Factory. Here he continued to use items in the commercial world as his subjects – products and celebrities.
Russian Marxist, intellectual and revolutionary Leon Trotsky once said “Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.”
Ironically, much of Warhol’s work shone such a spotlight on this new mass consumerist world that it wouldn’t have been lost on Warhol that he had become an artist who was mirroring a superficial world he had helped create. Perhaps that’s what he meant when he said ‘I am a deeply superficial person.’ He loved consumerism. He used a hammer to shape it. Then used a mirror to reflect it back on us.
Regardless of whether you enjoy pop art as a celebration of commercialism or appreciate it as a critique, one things holds true …
“The pop artists did images that anybody walking down Broadway could recognize in a split second — comics, picnic tables, men’s trousers, celebrities, shower curtains, refrigerators, Coke bottles. All the great modern things that the Abstract Expressionists tried not to notice at all.” – Andy Warhol
Pop art is easy to recognise. That makes it easy to love. So we’ve drawn from our online gallery to find something everyone in your family can enjoy. In fact, we’ve dedicated a whole collection to it – Pop Art – that you can come back and check out anytime.