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Introduction: what is PopArt?

PopArt. You’ve probably heard about it and that’s not surprising because this art movement has been around since the 1950s. And now it’s back, from actually never being gone!

PopArt: a true art revolution

Imagine the 1950s, with rock and roll music on the radio and people feasting on hamburgers and milkshakes in diners. Amid all these cool vibes, artists thought, “Why just paint portraits of boring people and landscapes?”

So there they came, as a group of creative rebels with a penchant for all things “pop” – comics, soda cans, Hollywood stars and more. They thought, “Why not paint what really concerns people? Why not embrace the glittering world of pop culture?”

And so, with a hefty dose of daring and a colorful palette, they began to transform everyday things into art. Think about painting a mega-sized soup can or making cartoon faces of famous people. It was as if they enveloped the everyday world in a whirlwind of bright colors and humor.

Art became a party to which everyone was invited, not just classical art lovers. People started laughing, scratching their heads and saying, “Wait, is this serious art?!” But that was just the fun of it. Pop art brought a breath of fresh air into the art world, turning something ordinary into something extraordinary, and something boring into something to smile at….

PopArt: examples from our collection

Who are the most famous PopArt artists?

Here are some well-known pop art artists who made their mark on this vibrant art movement:

  1. Andy Warhol: He is probably the king of pop art. Warhol was famous for his colorful paintings of Campbell’s soup and celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Queen Beatrix.
  2. Roy Lichtenstein: This artist put his own spin on comic books by using the famous “Ben-Day dots” technique. His works often contain cartoon-like images and text balloons.
  3. Claes Oldenburg: Imagine huge sculptures of everyday objects such as giant paper clips and oversized ice creams. Oldenburg brought humor and imagination to pop art.
  4. Richard Hamilton: He is often considered the founder of pop art because of his early experiments with everyday objects and mass production in his artworks.
  5. Jasper Johns: Although sometimes seen as a transitional figure between abstract expressionism and pop art, Johns used iconic symbols such as flags and targets in his work.
  6. Robert Rauschenberg: Although he embraced a wide range of styles, Rauschenberg was often associated with pop art because of his blending of art and everyday materials.
  7. James Rosenquist: This artist created impressive collages of advertising images and everyday objects, often on a monumental scale.
  8. Tom Wesselmann: He is known for his bold paintings and collages of everyday objects and female nudes.

These artists have all contributed in their own way to the vibrant and colorful world of PopArt.

PopArt: examples from our collection

Contemporary PopArt

In today’s world, pop art is still alive and kicking, but with a modern twist. Artists take our addiction to smartphones, the glitz and glamour of social media, and the whole melting pot of pop culture and turn it into art that makes you smile and think at the same time.

You might find a painting that shows Barbie and Ken as hipsters on a coffee date, or an explosion of bright colors that transforms a fast-food meal into an abstract work of art. Contemporary pop art is all about capturing the vibes of our current times and mixing them with a good dose of creative sparkle.

So, if you ever come across an artwork where you think “This looks like it came straight from my Instagram feed!”, you’ve probably discovered the funky world of contemporary pop art.

Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol

One of the most expensive pop art works ever sold is“Masterpiece” by Roy Lichtenstein. This artwork was auctioned at Christie’s New York in November 2017 and brought a whopping $165 million. ‘Masterpiece’ is an iconic work by Lichtenstein that combines his signature style of comic book-like imagery and Ben-Day dots. Andy Warhol’s“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” brought as much as $195 million a few years later!

PopArt at Amersfoort Art

Amersfoort Art has a large collection of PopArt artworks. In fact, we have a whole category dedicated to it! Take a look at our PopArt page or stop by our gallery in Amersfoort.