Pop art started in the USA during the earlier period of the 1960’s. But it was already making its presence felt in the late fifties. Pop art was basically an art movement which aimed to replace the abstract mode of artistic expression with messages that are easier to understand. The pioneers of this art movement were Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. The boom of this art movement or phenomenon mainly happened in New York City. The initiators of Pop art believed that the metaphysical complexities of abstract art are already out of tune as times and people had become different. As its followers believed in the power of easy to recognize images of common items, pop art introduced new objects such as flags, maps and targets or stuffed animals and rubber tires on paintings. Irony, sarcasm, and mockery were the favorite aspects of this art movement. Pop art in many ways was a form of rebellion to the dictates of traditional expressionism. According to pop art, confining ourselves to the old rules of the arts can make us stagnant as they fit only with the old era.
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‘Pop’ was a term first applied to popular culture rather than to art which borrowed from that culture, but it would be one of the goals of the Pop art movement to blur the boundaries between ‘high’ art and ‘low’ popular culture. The notion that there is no hierarchy of culture, and that art may borrow from any source and mix it with others, regardless of their context and history, has been one of the most important characteristics of Postmodernism as a cultural moment.
Although Pop art encompasses a wide variety of work with very different attitudes and postures, much of it is emotionally cold towards its subject matter. In contrast to the ‘hot’ Abstract Expressionism that preceded it, Pop art is generally ‘coolly’ ambivalent. Whether this suggests an acceptance of the popular world, or a shocked withdrawal, has been the subject of much debate.
It could be argued that the Abstract Expressionists searched for trauma in the soul, while Pop artists searched for traces of the same trauma in the mediated world of advertising, cartoons and popular imagery at large. But it is perhaps truer to say that Pop artists were the first to recognize that we can have no unmediated access to anything – be it the soul, the natural world, or the built environment. Everything is connected.
Abstract from: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-pop-art.htm
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