Pop Art in England and U.S.

  • Pop Art in England and U.S.

    Pop art is a Western cultural phenomenon which appeared under capitalist and technological circumstances in the industrial society. Its programmatic epicenters are the United States of America and England, and the cities of its birth are London and New York. Pop art is based on everyday life, and it reflects contemporary reality and causes of cultural transformation.

    The British and American artists broke with many conventional ideas about art. They threw space, plane, form, and color by the wayside. Pop art not only analyses the state of public affairs and provides a visual seismogram of societies’ achievements in industry and fashion but also stresses their nonsense. It emphasizes the limits of the mass media society, constantly falling apart. Certain consumer products such as soup cans, matchboxes, ice-cream, cakes, Coca-Cola, and cigarettes are considered as the symbols of pop art. A clear sense of reality, orientation towards the factual and conceptual approach is incidentally almost mandatory qualities for representatives of pop art.

    The works of British artists were dominated by frank fascination with the brash factory-made imagery of consumption and culture of commerce. While the U.S. experienced a phase of economic prosperity, the private consumption reached record peaks. Richard Hamilton as a British pop artist used the visual trial of consumer culture with mingled feelings. His collage Just what it is that make today's homes so different, so appealing? is an illustration of the aesthetic catchment. It brought standard images from the field of trivial figurativeness into a modern apartment. The artist presents people with a selection of typical social and gender role clichs. The courses of the content and formal spectrum used in this collage are easily found in Hamilton’s original artistic work. In this collage, Hamilton unites characters and consumer icons referring to both mind and sense.

    In conclusion, it is necessary to emphasize that pop art is conceptual. Pictures become things, and things become pictures. British and Americans had interest in pop because it broke down the barriers between art and non-art and replaced the hitherto typically inward-looking criteria for art with criteria oriented more towards the outer world. Thus pop art was felt as a considerable challenge to traditional attitude towards art.

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