The Best of Pop: A Journey from Obscurity to the Limelight
Pop art is the trend that changed the perception that art is only for the learned. It revamped the idea of art’s exclusivity to high sagacity and made art appreciation easier. Never have art been more free and universal than after the explosion of Pop Art.
Classical Art Movements
The painted art form has gone through a lot of phases and adopted a lot of styles, and these have a lot to do with the artists of the era. The period of The Renaissance gave us the Mona Lisa, The Creation of Adam and other works of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Then come the era of Neoclassicism and Romanticism. During these years, the complex influence of literacy, intellect and royalty are reflected in the rich and powerful canvasses of artists like Eugene Delacroix, Philipp Otto Runge and Caspar David Friedrich.
The Period of Modern Art first acknowledged photography as an art. The realism art style dominated this age and gave the art world Gustave Courbet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Honor Daumier, Thomas Eakins, Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, Jules Breton and Oswald Achenbach. After the reign of the Realism, Impressionism came into rage. Considered radicals, the era violated the academically set standards of art. Landscapes and outdoor scenes are the prominent subjects. Impressionist artists tried to capture and immortalize ordinary scenes of the time. Prominent artists of the age include Claude Monet, Mary Casat, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renior.
The early 20th century saw an explosion of many art movements that defy the academic standards. Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Dada and Abstract continued to revolutionize the standards of acceptable art. As opposed to the eye-pleasers of the earlier years, this era also presented arresting, fearless and often incomprehensible canvasses. Famous artists that dominated the era are Marc Chagall, Ludwig Kirchner, Salvador Dali, Henri Rousseau, Max Ernst, Edvard Munch and El Greco.
The Time for Pop Art
Early of the 1950’s saw the rise of another art style. Hugely derived from ironical Dadaism, and opposing the highly intellectual Abstract, Pop Art was trust to the art world. It started in England, but it was in the more unconventional United States where the art was first accepted and celebrated.
Pop Art comes from the phrase, Popular Art, and is the complete departure from the Abstract rage. The art style incorporates the use of media arts, film, photography, comics and advertising. Pop art can be in any form, in comic books, advertising copies, printing copies, anime, commercial packages and photography. They can either be created with the use of human talent alone or with the use of mechanical or technological aid. The genre is not all about the artists’ technique or skill; it is mostly on the idea that is being presented.
Pop Art was first conceived as brass and ugly. But while the previous art movements defied the conventional norms and standards of art, Pop Art challenged its verity. The essence of the art style is to find and present beauty in all its form. It successfully described beautiful in every mundane thing we see. Andy Warhol famously described it with a soup can, Takashi Murakami in anime and Burton Morris with popcorn boxes.
What made Pop Art acceptable is its profound simplicity and often arresting presentation. One doesn’t have to be schooled in order to appreciate the message that the artist is trying to impart. This makes the pictures, the photographs, the prints and everything else more enjoyable and beautiful to more people.
So, what really is beautiful and artful? Is it the ethereal rendition of angels or a snap shot of a dove? Is Mona Lisa more beautiful than Marilyn Monroe? Are cats of a lesser subject than sunsets? Pop Art says no, not necessarily. Not when we can see them in their best presentation.
So, is Pop Art better than the other art styles? Maybe yes, maybe no. After all, beauty is still in the eyes of the beholder.