Famous Artists

Were Andy Warhol Paintings A Mirror Or a Hammer?

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.

Andy Warhol Paintings - Pop Art - Granny Flat

FOR ALL: This print ‘Retro Palettes’, available in our Pop Art gallery, will make Mum very happy.

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.

Andy Warhol Paintings - Pop Art - Warhol Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy

Campbell’s Soup Can pillars on the exterior of a Warhol Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, Scotland. By Tom Rolfe [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Very post-modern.

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.

Andy Warhol Paintings - Pop Art - Teen Girl Room

OMG: Pop art mirrors the culture of the time. This post-modern piece, available at Wall Art Prints, is fun for a teenage girl’s room.

Andy Warhol Paintings - Pop Art - Teen Boy Room

KA-POW! Pop artists loved to use comic book type techniques to sell a product. Today they’re simply part of our everyday art culture like this speech bubble canvas print, great for a boy’s room.

Andy Warhol Paintings - Pop Art - Children's Room

CLASSIC: Warhol made repetition famous. His use of blotted ink drawings or silkscreen prints made art accessible to the masses. This colourful Pop Art piece is inspired by this style – great for kids.

Andy Warhol Paintings - Pop Art - Father's Office

REPETITION: This exciting wall art print combines pop art repetition and retro stylings, perfect for musicians and Dads everywhere.




You Might Also Like