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Pop Art

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P.J. Gremaud
“Pop Art”
Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art employs aspects of mass culture, such as advertising, movies, comic books and mundane cultural objects. It can be interpreted as a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism, as well as an expansion upon them. Pop art is aimed to employ images of popular as opposed to elitist culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any given culture, most often through the use of irony. In Pop art, material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, and or combined with unrelated material. The concept of pop art refers not as much to the art itself as to the attitudes that led to it.

One of the most notable pop artists was the artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987). One of Andy Warhol's most famous paintings was that of a Campbell's soup can. Warhol is noted to have mingled with many different subculture circles and they must have had some influence on how and why he created the art that was famous for. Was Andy Warhol making art for the common folk to enjoy or was he mocking the common folk with his art? It’s hard to say what he had in mind when he elevated the Campbell Soup Can to an art form and presented it to the world.

I think that Andy Warhol's work was a reflection of a period where he felt that the ordinary elements of life were being overlooked because of all the chaos and turmoil in the world. During the time when Warhol was making designs of the Campbell Soup Cans and flashy images of Marilyn Monroe, the world was exploding with war and strife in the streets with the Civil Rights Movement, riots and marches.

In July 1962 Andy Warhol exposed his Soup Can's for the very first time. In total he painted 32 Campbell's Soup Cans in the manner that they were displayed in grocery shops: next to each other and at equal distances. This piece of art was a provocation against...