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Pop Art

Pop Art is a genre of the contemporary art which conveys events and characters of the mass culture. It took quite a long time before critics began to regard it as an art, thinking that such artworks rather belonged to advertisement.

Pop art appeared in mid 1950s and had become widely recognized by the end of that century.

What provoked its appearance? After-war economic development generated development of consumerism on both Atlantic coasts. Splendor and obtrusiveness of the mass culture so annoyed artists that their response was a matter of time.

What is pop art painting? If you mix cartoons and advertisement posters, sprinkle this concoction with unhackneyed humor, you will have pop art.

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Famous artists

One of the pop-art pioneers is the British artist Richard Hamilton. His painting with the flowery name Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? marked the beginning of the genre.

American artist Roy Lichtenstein felt inspired by cartoons, and in his artworks he rendered such minor details as raster/dot pattern.

Andy Warhol is probably the most known pop-art master. His Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell soup cans is the first thing people remember thinking of pop art. Warhol ran his business on a large scale. With great enthusiasm he made pop art as good for sale as soup or soda.

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Peculiarities of technique

Collage technique combined with the use of second-hand items, photographs, packing board and packaging. Toxically-bright colors. Imitation of posters, often with inscriptions and slogans.

How can we put up with over-exposed images of everyday life and imposing advertising? Original artists of pop art suggested parody, grotesque, kitsch. This explains the abundance of repetitive frames and toxic colors in the artworks of this genre. Coca-Cola bottles and cans of soup line up in endless rows. Icons of pop culture feature bright but lifeless faces, because these are not persons but symbols. Just a small part of art lovers with uncommon worldview buy pop art. Nonetheless, in the Western world, this genre has its admirers.

And what about pop art on the other side of the iron curtain? The USSR had it. Pop art appears where there is massive agitation in the form of commercial advertising or political propaganda. Even Andy Warhol painted Lenin and Mao, imitating Soviet and Chinese propaganda posters. In the USSR, the reaction of artists to agitation and propaganda was similar, which gave birth to a local kind of pop art - Sots Art.

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