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After World War II, Pop Art emerged as an Art movement in Great Britain and the United States. The contents of Pop Art being the use of borrowed imagery from mass culture-high art mimicking low art. Pop artists would use pornography, advertisements, commercial products, newspaper clippings and comic books as all elements to add to their work.
It was in London in the 1940 where the first inklings of Pop Art had emerged, an artist by the name of Eduardo Paolozzi had used the idea of taking clippings from American newspapers and magazines, images being mass-consumer products like soda bottles and automobiles and mixing them with images from girlie and body building magazines and using them to create an affect of ridicule and irony.
In Great Britain after World War II, things were a bit bleak, the physical destruction of the war in that country brought with it exorbitant costs. There was widespread rationing which meant luxury items were out of the question and in the art world this meant things like colour printing. As a result in Great Britain many magazines, architecture, clothing and movies were very colourless and drab.
Unlike Great Britain, American land was unscathed by the destruction of the war and as a result industry was quick to expand. This provided a period of high economic growth characterized by high profits and prices, higher levels of investment trade and other economic activity. With this growth in wealth also produced a technologically advanced popular culture.
American magazines and films were big, colourful and glossy. Icons from popular culture now emerged into the limelight and become very influential, they gained power in society akin to that of high profile businessmen and politicians.
The use of these icons became a predominant element in the productions of Pop Art, with huge blown up images of movie stars taken from Hollywood films, like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, paintings and collaged images of American rock stars like Elvis Presley, which became idols of a youth culture, poster sized images of American beer bottles and spaghetti .In the sixties Pop culture and lifestyle became intertwined, Pop Art came to reveal the essential characteristics of a cultural atmosphere and way of life we associated it with.
Works by new artists like Wesselmann, Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and others had magically attracted people to Pop art, not only for the pure art but the notion of Pop. Pop came to stand for rock music, poster art and the flower child cult and of course the drug scene. A new lifestyle was emerging for the younger generation, one with rebellious attitudes especially against authority. Pop culture sought liberation from the norms of existing society. To a vast extent pop became united with the public and political activities, and with the many types of art being produced, it almost seemed, anything goes if you dare. This new art was by far radical and progressive.
Art was transformed by the mass media; mass media industries changed the culture. Art and behavioural norms of society were also changing the consciousness of the people. ?Media dependency brings forth externally controlled human beings who can
Be shifted around like chessmen on the great chessboard of society.?
The task of demystification of the artistic process like that of depersonalisation of technique, was a focus of Pop artists in the 60 as part of a more determined purge of the romantic cult of the individual.
Pop art reacted to the phenomenon of depersonalisation in mass society with styles that were equally impersonal, with pictures that had equally objectivising effect. he media had changed the relationship between individual subjectivity and mass consciousness, and Pop Art therefore also wished to redefine the role of individuality in art? new understanding of objects and art had evolved, characterised by excess, social/cultural and economic affluence?
he myths of everyday life which surface in consumer culture, in the mass media and in the euphoria surrounding technology are ambivalent: they express the general syndrome of decay; a belief in progress, but also a fear of disaster ?they stand for both dreams and traumas, luxury and poverty? 5 American culture had begun to recognise the impact of its own destruction. The complete accessibility of consumer goods has turned America into the waste-disposal problem of a throwaway society in which the desires and fates of individuals disappear in the mass.
Pop artists were using found objects and ready made images associated with mass media and production, exploiting them, manipulating them, using the replication of manufactured objects complete with boldly designed labels. The American population means disposability, not durability; replacement, not maintenance and many artists used this within their themes of art. epeatable words, picture and music, have resulted in an expandable multitude of signs and symbols?
Television became a very powerful tool of the mass media, it was pumping out images of desire and illusion. The colours of television were ultra-vivid and wholly abstract, the uses of electron colour, the electronics, the brightness, the flicker of the screen, the dots and lines, and jibber jabber of images as you flick from station to station all had an impact on the viewer. he television has done more to alter the direct, discursive relationship of images to the real world, on which painting used to depend, than any other invention in our century? The television images were real in fact, but also had a sense of artificiality; images repeatedly shoved into the viewers faces; chaotic and overwhelming images of street signs, the Kennedy, crowds, food, animals, entertainers, Hollywood, the pressures to buy or sell products, the mind jamming bombardment of images, images, images. The viewer had no where to escape except from channel to channel. The viewer skimming all.............
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