The Roots of Pop Art

Andy Warhole. "32 Cans of Campbell's Soup"

Pop art is a mid-20th century art that continues to gain popularity among art gallery goers and famous designers alike. In this article we will talk about the pop art origin, the place of pop art in the modern world of art and fashionable outfits in the style of Andy Warhol.

Where did pop art start?

Pop Art has its roots in 1950s Britain. At a time when England was just recovering from the losses of the Second World War, a consumer culture was already flourishing in America. At the same time, a media boom begins to be observed in the country: television and newspapers come to the fore, acquiring a huge influence in American society.

Advertising, which begins to spread on TV and in newspapers, focuses on the graphic depiction of consumer goods, which becomes the starting point for the pop art origin.

While the Americans were rejoicing with might and main about the new products that appeared on store shelves, the British experienced the post-war period rather hard. The lack of objects that make life easier, better and more interesting pushed them to create paintings that satirize American culture. Envy gave impetus to a new direction in art.

The first representatives of pop art art are called the members of the Independent Group:

  • Richard Hamilton’
  • Nigel Henderson;
  •  John McHale;
  •  Sir Eduardo Paolozzi;
  •  William Turnbull.

They were the first to spread the ideas of British pop art. One of the most important works is Richard Hamilton’s collage “So what makes our homes today so different, so attractive?” It was shown for the first time at the exhibition “This is Tomorrow”, which was held at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. This exhibition drew the attention of artists and critics to popular culture.

Collage by Richard Hamilton: “So what makes our homes today so different, so inviting?”

And then Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol took pop art to a new level. Their main goal was to blur the boundaries of high and low art.

Lichtenstein wrote homages to Picasso, Van Gogh and Matisse, painted with comics. Rauschenberg turned various objects into art. He is the author of “combined paintings”. You can talk about Warhol endlessly. Paintings depicting cans of Campbell’s soup or multi-colored portraits of Marilyn Monroe have become pop art icons.

Now pop art continues its path in the field of art. It is gradually moving into the realm of fashion – many designers are inspired by paintings and use them as prints for clothes.

For example, in 2013, the fashion house Dior released a collection based on sketches by Andy Warhol. It turned out very stylish. And in 2014, American fashion designer Jeremy Scott, as part of the Moschino fashion show, released the McDonald’s Uniform Collection, which literally pays tribute to the mass culture of society.

Today it cannot be said that pop art is losing its position. Young artists bring their ideas to 20th century fashion, and designers continue to be inspired by the work of iconic illustrators.


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