Tag Archives: Pop Art

The Arts: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol recognized the commercialization of the culture in the 60s, and helped create the Pop Art movement in response. This painting by Vladimir Gorsky imitates Warhol’s style. Uploaded by loganfinearts.com.

I don’t think Andy Warhol would like being remembered as “The Campbell’s Soup Can Guy.” Or the guy who said that everyone would have 15 minutes of fame. He was involved in so many things – painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author. But more than anything, Andy Warhol was one of the first people to realize the power of celebrity.

Uploaded by guilhemetleonard.wordpress.com.

He was a leader in the pop art movement that sprang up in the 1960s as a reaction to the increased commercialization of the culture. Warhol saw it first-hand as a successful commercial illustrator. His iconic image of the soup can is memorable, as are the portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe.

Warhol moved from painting to silkscreen process for creating his art in the mid- 60s, and his work polarized the public. Even now, the New York Times says, “Depending on your point of view, Andy Warhol is the greatest American artist of the second half of the 20th century or a corrupter of art who destroyed painting and took us down the slippery slope of postmodernism.”

I think he was a brilliant man who bought into his own hype. But the marketplace may disagree. Warhol’s painting “Eight Elvises” sold for $100 million. I think that would have struck Andy Warhol as just hilarious.

The Arts: Jasper Johns

Map, 1961 by Jasper Johns. His works have been sold for huge sums, making him one of the wealthiest artists ever. Uploaded by princetonol.com.

Abstract expressionism dominated the American art scene in the early fifties, a style Jasper Johns never identified with. He went in another direction, becoming an influence in the movement commonly called Pop Art. He took ordinary flat, two-dimensional objects – flags, targets, numbers – and painted them in vibrant colors.

Uploaded by dcist.com.

Photos don’t do justice to Johns’s work, however. He used what’s called an encaustic technique, in which pigments are mixed with hot liquid wax. And his surfaces are intentionally distressed to remove some of the emotional impact from the commonplace objects portrayed. The American Masters series on PBS said this about Johns: “It was a new experience for gallery goers to find paintings solely of such things as flags and numbers. The simplicity and familiarity of the subject matter piqued viewer interest in both Johns’ motivation and his process. Johns explains, ‘There may or may not be an idea, and the meaning may just be that the painting exists.’”

His work has sold for astronomical sums, making Johns one of the wealthiest authors ever. Don’t expect to find his originals at the Starving Artists show the next time it comes to your town.

Since in this case a picture is worth a thousand words, or at least several paragraphs, here are representations of some of Jasper Johns’s famous works.

Flag. Uploaded by z.about.com.

Figura 8. Uploaded by wideopenspaces.squarespace.com.

Target. Uploaded by artposters.jp.

Numbers in Color. Uploaded by ardor.net.

Racing Thougts. Uploaded by z.about.com.