It may or may not be of any coincidence that the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition currently on at the Tate Modern London seems to coincide with a rival of Pop Art in ‘popular mass culture’. So this got me thinking; where have I seen Pop Art ‘popping’ up and why has it ‘exploded’ into the 21st century?
Regarded as one of the pioneers of Pop Art, Lichtenstein used old-fashioned comic strips as his subject matter and interpreted them into big, bold, colourful and hard-edged compositions that played on clichés, satirised icons and mass consumerism of the 50s and 60s. It was also no accident that these pieces were produced at a time of excitement for manufacturing where new materials were being mass-developed, such as plastic and acrylic which took the form of furniture, interiors and fashion.
As with most trends and movements, they tend to rear their happy heads once in a while and I’ve noticed Pop art is back with a BOOM!
Cheryl Cole not so long ago walked out in a Pop Art-inspired dress by Lazy Oaf and many more celebrities followed in her footsteps.
Image credit: LazyOaf
Zayn Malik of UK boy-band and global phenomenon One Direction, recently had a Pop Art inspired ‘Zap’ inked onto his arm in the style of a comic book.
Image credit: showbizgeek
Pop videos have become bold, bright and brash with the likes of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj wearing bright pink, yellow and blue hair.
Image credit: campaignlive
Pop Art has also made its way into contemporary furniture design, through designer Silvia Zacchello
who describes her work as recycling and restoring furniture and vintage objects with a Pop Art theme.
Image credit: HomesandProperty
Image credit: woodpop
Image credit: digetexhome
I’ve never been a huge fan of pop art but I can intellectually understand the importance of the movement and what Lichtenstein, along with his contemporaries, were trying to say in the 50s. Interestingly, the same art form is being used to endorse popular icons of today and is also applied to everything from furniture to interior design. Has the fun and bold message been lost or are these celebrities and designers trying to convey a similar message? Either way, the flashes of colour have brightened up what has otherwise been a very miserable winter.
The Roy Lichtenstein exhibition is taking place on the 21st February – 27th May 2013, at the Tate Modern, London.