Discover who put the pop in Pop Art & why the style became one of the most recognisable art forms of today.

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Pop Art emerged as an art movement during the 1950s in America & Britain and peaked in the 1960s. The movement was inspired by popular và commercial culture in the western world và began as a rebellion against traditional forms of art.

Pop artists felt that the art exhibited in museums or taught at schools did not represent the real world, and so looked to contemporary mass culture for inspiration instead. At the height of its heyday, Pop Art was often heralded as ‘anti-art’ for refusing lớn abide by contemporary art standards at the time.

We’ve put this guide together lớn answer some of the most common questions about the genre. Discover who put the "Pop" in Pop Art và why the style became one of the most recognisable forms of Modern Art today.

Looking khổng lồ buy Pop Art instead? Take a look at our collection or explore pop art paintings.


Sources Of Pop Art III, 2006, by Sir Peter Blake

What are the main characteristics of Pop Art?

Understanding what the term ‘Pop Art’ means can help khổng lồ illuminate the key ideas which upheld the movement. Artist Richard Hamilton previously listed the ‘characteristics of Pop Art’ in a letter to lớn his friends.

He broke down the meaning of Pop Art into simple terms: Popular (designed for a mass audience), Transient (short-term solution), Expendable (easily forgotten), Low-cost, Mass-produced, Young (aimed at youth), Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, Big business.


Off His Head, 2020, by Magnus Gjoen

How can you identify Pop Art?

You can often identify Pop Art by its use of popular, consumer symbols, be those household objects such as the humble tin of beans in Andy Warhol"s Campbell"s Soup Cans 1962 or iconic celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn Monroe, I by James Rosenquist, another key proponent of the movement.

To qualify this, Warhol said: “Pop artists did images that anybody walking down Broadway could recognize in a split second – comics, picnic tables, men’s trousers, celebrities, shower curtains, refrigerators, Coke bottles”, all the modern things artists previously tried khổng lồ avoid in their work.

Discover more of Warhol"s most iconic quotes.


Screaming for Chanel, 2020, by Olga Lomaka

Indeed, branded or commercial symbolism is an especially important theme in Pop Art. Incorporating logos or impersonal imagery reinforced the idea that art could be inspired by anything and everything, not just history, mythology or morality.

Pop Art is often characterised by bold colours, particularly the primary colours: red, blue và yellow. The colours were usually bright và similar lớn your typical comic strip palette. These colours weren"t used to represent the artist"s inner world or self as they so often did in previous, classical art forms, but reflected the vibrant, popular culture around them.

Hard-edged compositions are a popular motif used lớn defuse the ‘painterly looseness’ of styles like Abstraction, Impressionism andAbstract Expressionism. Many Pop Art pieces are consequently made up of distinctive or fragmented shapes. Some artists would also satirise objects by enlarging them to almost comical proportions.


Something Has Always Been Missing, 2019, by Peter Horvath

What techniques are used in Pop Art?

Similar to and arguably inspired by Dadaism, Pop Artists often created unusual và nonsensical combinations of ‘found’ or ‘ready-made’ objects & imagery of popular, political or social phenomena. These objects or images are often displayed in collages, arranged in an artistic process called Appropriation. This is the copying, borrowing or altering of images or objects from mass popular culture.

With the rise of consumer culture và a proliferation of visual phenomena thanks to lớn ever-expanding mass media outlets, Appropriation took on an entirely new significance in art.

Pop Artists also appropriated kiến thiết industry processes such as commercial screen printing và immensely graphic layouts mimicking the ads, billboards, catalogues và other marketing-propaganda embedded in the world around them. For this reason, the style was originally referred to as ‘Propaganda Art’.


Sexy Time 2, 2020, by D13EGO

What makes the Pop Art movement unique?

When Andy Warhol pointed out that artists refused to notice all the great modern things that everyone else noticed, he highlights the fact that art at the time was totally disconnected from real life and real people; the obsession with the brushstroke had created an atmosphere of exclusivity.

One of the things that made Pop Art so unique was the fact that it chose lớn focus on such ‘real’ & relevant subject matter, a decision which Modernist critics openly abhorred. Pop Artists blurred the lines between ‘low’ & ‘high’ art by bridging the gap between popular culture và classical art, redefining the traditional parameters of what constitutes art and what it means khổng lồ be an artist.

The Pop Art movement is important because it made art accessible khổng lồ the masses, not just to the elite. As the style drew inspiration from commercial figures and cultural moments, the work was recognised và respected among the general public. Finally, there was an art size that felt not only pertinent but accessible to lớn everyone. In some respects, Pop Art was ‘art for the people’.


Maniac, 2020, by Victoria Topping

What is the difference between American Pop Art và British Pop Art?

In the US, the alluring ‘American Dream’ of success, beauty & money was driving a culture of celebrity-worship during the 50s & 60s. The arrival of the television in practically every home across the country impacted the entire cultural landscape. Every household was being filled with the faces and ideas of US musicians, athletes, actors & politicians praising the new-American age.

While American artists were inspired by what they saw và experienced within their own culture and society, Pop Art in Britain was essentially influenced from afar.

British Pop Art was drawn from an outsider’s perspective, heavily borrowing lexicon, images & objects from post-war Americana. Fueled by a desire khổng lồ escape a barely recovered, post-war bankrupt nation, British artists created art which longed for – usually ironically – the glossy American Dream lauded on television, newspapers and in advertising.


Dorothy Dandridge, 2016, by Tim Towler

Who are famous Pop Artists?

Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Richard Hamilton and Roy Lichtenstein are among those viewed as the original Pop Artists.

Richard Hamilton has often been labelled the founding father of British Pop Art for outlining the aims và ideals of the movement as listed above. Hamilton believed that art wasn"t just for galleries và exhibitions, but a way of life. He thus contributed to lớn making art mainstream & not just for private exhibitions.

Andy Warhol, perhaps a more widely referenced proponent of the movement, used his own celebrity status lớn spread Pop Art lớn other artistic spheres, especially film. In fact, he is often seen as the forefather of Independent Film.

Discover artworks inspired by Andy Warhol"s style in our curated Warhol collection.


Zoya, 2020, by Alban

Is Pop Art still relevant today?

Many contemporary Pop Artists continue to keep the movement not just alive but thriving. Popular Pop artists today include the likes of Neo-Pop artist Jeff Koons, the iconic Alex Katz và the immersive, Japanese visual artist Yayoi Kusama.

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If you are looking for Pop Art for sale, we recommend taking a look at renowned printmaker Peter Horvath, graphic artist Yassine Mourit and Niki Hare,or discover more here.