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pop art

What is Pop Art?
Pop art is a relatively new form of art which is created around culture and pop art themes are based on issues and tastes that are dominant in society at the time. The pop art movement probably started in Britain somewhere in the middle of the twentieth century. At the same time, the phenomenon also gained momentum in the United States of America.

Through the history of pop art one can decipher popular mindsets and get an idea of the evolution of society through time. Pop art is after all, all about popular themes and reflects the prevailing culture in society.
Pop art paintings may even involve a popular advertisement or cartoon or film character, for instance.

Pop art should not be considered an incomplete or odd art form. In fact, experts categorize it as one of the sub-genres of modern art. Through the annals of pop art, different trends in different parts of the world at different times are recorded in history. American pop art, for example, was believed to have marked the development of representational art, by using images from mass media. This was a whole new concept in America in the 1950s and may have had to do with burgeoning commercialism.

Spanish pop art artists like Eduardo Arroyo used his creations to voice his opinion on nature and environmental issues.  Other popular Spanish pop art artists include Manolo Valdés and Rafael Solbes. The duo was known to use comics and images from mass media to create their art. In recent years, pop art has gained popularity in Japan where comics have a very important part in social life. Most Japanese animations, unlike any other part of the world targets street culture rather than children and pop artists therefore have a vas array of topics to employ.

In fact because of the varied content of Japanese art and their skill in the area, Japanese pop art has great demand and is much appreciated around the world. It is not uncommon to find such art in any pop art gallery around the globe. This is also because Japanese cartoons, especially the cartoons that feature older characters portray grown-up themes and hence draw an older fan-following. Besides, these cartoons are made with such expertise and so much thought that they appear almost life-like.
Japanese culture is also more open to receiving messages that are suited for adults in cartoon format.

Hence such cartoons are popular in that part of the world and pop art that centre on those themes can be extremely thought-provoking and insightful. One famous pop art artist in Japan is Yoshitomo Nara. Nara creates pop art by using images of children to create powerful statements. Nara’s art usually depicts anger and rebellious youth. Images of children, however, are also used by other Japanese pop artists to convey other messages. Not all of these messages are serious or hard-to-swallow. A lot of Japanese pop artists use images of children to portray innocence and purity.

Author ~ Anjana Vaswani


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