Materialism and Pop Culture in Art

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In the 1960s, material objects and consumer goods crept into the world of art as never before. The presence of well-known corporate symbols and mass-produced goods in modern art reflected the commercialization of popular culture. This was known as Pop Art. While it is certainly the art movement most famous for it’s materialism it is not infact the first time that philosophy and ideas that centred around materialistic views were apparent. Without meaning and philosophy there is no art, if someone creates with no meaning behind their work, they are little more than craftsmen. The use of philosophy is what separates artists and creates meaning behind their art works.

The history of materialism is a long and varied one with many believing that the use of materialistic philosophy began as early as 600 BCE. In Ancient Indian philosophy, materialism developed with the works of Ajita Kesakambali, Payasi, Kanada, and the advocates of the Cārvāka school of philosophy.

The first philosophical movement that prided itself on the use of materialism was during The Enlightenment, a period of time ranging from part of the 17th century through much of the 18th century, characterized particularly by the importance of reason and logic, as well as by a growing public audience. It culminated in the American and French revolutions, as well as the Industrial Revolution.

The Enlightenment occupies a central role in the justification for the artistic movement known as modernism. The neo-classic trend in modernism came to see itself as a period which overturned established traditions. Art has traditionally been a reflection and an artist’s interpretation of the world around the artists. During the Age of Enlightenment, there were five major types of art movements; Neoclassicism, Romanticism, French Naturalism, French Realism, and Impressionism. While none of these styles would be originally thought of as materialistic, the age in which they were inspired and the general philosophy...
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