Module 1: Pop Art
What is Pop Art
Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the 1950s and flourished in the 1960s in America and Britain, drawing inspiration from sources in popular and commercial culture. Different cultures and countries contributed to the movement during the 1960s and 70s.
By creating paintings or sculptures of mass culture objects and media stars, the Pop art movement aimed to blur the boundaries between "high" art and "low" culture. The concept that there is no hierarchy of culture and that art may borrow from any source has been one of the most influential characteristics of Pop art.
You could argue that Abstract Expressionists searched for trauma in the soul, while Pop artists searched for traces of the same trauma in the mediated world of advertising, cartoons, and popular imagery at large.
- Young artists felt that what they were taught at art school and what they saw in museums did not have anything to do with their lives or the things they saw around them every day. Instead they turned to sources such as Hollywood movies, advertising, product packaging, pop music and comic books for their imagery.
Inspiring artists and artworks
- C.O. Paeffgen
- Alex Katz
- Stephen Powers
- Peter Blake
- R.B. Kitaj
I really like the self portrait by Peter Blake where he has included a bunch of pins on his jacket that are representing popular culture. I'm thinking about using this piece to inspire mine. I have this idea of having 2 self portraits, one of me in the 90s and a present day portrait (2018). On these portraits I will cover my face with the logos of companies I have been bombarded with depending on the era. I know in the 90s there were a lot of big brands which have since died out or become 'uncool'.
Brands and popular culture of the 90s
Brands and popular culture today.
Starting to paint
Brought the paintings into the studio and started to apply more layers. Not sure how I feel about them yet. The left portrait is defs too dark and doesn't feel like my style.
During studio 2, I managed to have a group discussion with Simon, Lachlan and Ilijana about our current progress. To be honest I wasn't really feeling my current idea and raised this with the group. Simon essentially suggested paint how I normally paint but include elements of pop art or popular culture that have influenced the work. I think after the group discussion I'm going to go back to square one and go back to painting my style but in response to popular culture today. Simon also suggested I take a look at the following artists: Gareth Sansom and Gonkar Gyatso. After looking at Lachlan's current work, I liked how he was able to abstract objects in life to simple lines within his work. This maybe something I can experiment with in my work. Using the same style now but actually abstracting popular culture references from real life.
Exploring Brisbane galleries to get some inspiration
TW Fine Arts - Taylor White and Kimberly Rowe
Jan Manton Gallery - Simon Degroot
Thinking more about pop art and popular culture
Reflecting back on the current works in response to pop art and the discussion with Simon, Ilijana and Lachlan, I wanted to take a different direction and paint in the style I normally paint but with popular culture influences. I started to think about brands, icons and foods that have been in my life. One that came to my mind was SPAM. Growing up in an asian influenced household I remember that my dad loved it and my mum liked to cook with it sometimes.
Why SPAM? Also why is SPAM so popular and how has this American product become so popular in some asian countries?
I've never understood why people eat SPAM....it's disgusting!
I'm going to leave both of these works for now and come back to them. I think I will start to build up the texture on both in my next painting session .
I stumbled upon the artist Nick Herd. I really loved the impasto style of his work which reminded me of a lot of Ben Quilty's work. I think I will try incorporate elements of this impasto into my pop art work.
Watched the Basquiat movie for the first time. I think the documentary Radiant Child as a lot better.