Art itself is a creative medium that penetrates culture, racial boundaries, gender inequalities, or anything else you can think of. Art is something that is beyond all of these things but can at the same time be used to communicate messages about these underlying social conditions that we may see around us in modern society. Today let’s look at some of the ways that pop art has influenced modern society.
Pop art started in the mid 1950s in England and a few years later in the United States. It was a unique departure from the traditional fine arts because it implements scenes, depictions, illustrations, etc. from popular culture, hence the name “pop art.” Most people see its rise as a response to the ideas of abstract expressionism that were popular during the 1950s.
Pop art oftentimes depicts irony and satire in its work to overlay the political or cultural landscape of a time period. This element of pop art has led much of it to make social and political commentary on the status quo in American and British life. One of the most famous pop artists is Andy Warhol who was famous for his Campbell’s soup paintings and Campbell’s Tomato Juice Box during the 1960s. Also during the 1960s, the antiwar movement made great use of pop art, illustrating the power of this particular genre.
The ironic nature of pop art can perhaps be attributed to many of the popular ironic and satirical news services that have now become so popular in modern society. For example, two of the leading news television shows in American and abroad are the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. These television shows draw heavily upon the satirical influences that pop art first sought to exploit.
Another great example of pop art influence could be the success of popular sites like the Onion that seek to use popular culture and play upon it with satirical news stories. This would be an example of the traditional art form of canvas switching mediums into the written word, again showing the far reaching effects of art in popular culture and the influence pop art has had on society.
Pop art continues to be a popular medium today although it is not as in vogue as it once was during the 1960s. The pop art movements really seems to coalesce around the rise of the hippies and its fading away coincided with theirs. The art movement of today is primarily focused around post-modern art, but the influence of pop art can still be seen throughout society. It just takes a trained eye to locate it.
If you are interested in seeing and reading more about pop art, there are a number of great pop art museums around the United States and Great Britain that not only have full tours, but also have many of the works available to see online. If you visit their websites, you should be able to find everything you need to visits and further your learning of this great medium.