“I pressed the fire control… and ahead of me rockets blazed through the sky” Whaam! was an image published in 1962 in the DC comic, All American Men of War. Lichtenstein the artist worked on commercial creative sources like comics and advertisements. He was interested in very emotional subjects connected to love or war in a calming, offstandish way. How did the war inspire Pop Art? Pop Art celebrated the triumph of World War II, but also expressed the tragedy of events and despair post-war. It became very popular in the U.S. and Europe around the early ‘50s and throughout the ‘60s.
When Pop Art first appeared many artists took it upon themselves to make it their own, James Rosenquist used politics and made one of the most popular pieces involving a political statement while other experimented with this new techniques and technology to make what the art world would call a masterpiece today. Pop Art is a genre of art that first appeared in Britain and America. Pop Arts name came from “popular” culture and interesting interpretations of commercial products, the movement created and showed a new and accessible approach to art. Even though this style was well known in the ‘50s and ‘60s, it is still a movement today and has a following.
This movement is triumphing and growing creating new opportunities for new people. After the devastation caused by WWII People decided to show the tragedy of this event through Pop Art, through advertisements and mass media, because of the widespread expression it began to fluorous and became a statement not just about the war but about life and how we should get up after being knocked down and keep living it Being such a brand new way of expression this form of art blew up. It presented a challenge because of the modernism and advertising it was subjected into.
Pop Art was used mainly for comic books and mass advertising. It was a new and exciting technology within the art community, the technique was flexible with one of the most popular ways being ink transferred onto paper or canvas through a mesh screen with a stencil. Ink is forced over the design filling in empty spaces, this is called silk screening, or specific styles like Roy Lichtenstein who used lithography, or printing from a metal plate to capture his signature visual style. In the ‘50s as techniques were developing, early artists used three-dimensional items in their work, this was called “Neo-dada” or today early pop art (Explore the World of Pop Art). The technology used to create and mass produce triumphed and is known for its widespread popularity. But these techniques are also used to show art representing the tragedy of many things not just war but in everyday lives.
Roy Lichtenstein made pieces about the war but he also created classic Crying Girl, an image of a girl crying and looking out of the corner of her eyes, she holds her hand by her mouth to what looks to be quieting a gasp. The eeriness of the image is special but it was also made with his own technique that cost almost nothing. Technique was so important when it came to sharing your piece, especially if you wanted to show you were inventive enough for the modernism of this sort of art. As Pop Art grew and the topic of World War II was heavy, artists mass produced this art form and it soon became a Post World War II obsession and it drove the economy (Explore the World of Pop Art). Pop artists loved the post-WWII manufacturing and popularity boom. Politics was a big subject grabbed by the hands of artists and created for people to see. Many pop artists were fascinated by politics in the media such as James Rosenquist.
Rosenquist created a collage of John F. Kennedy’s face from an ad campaign (President-Elect). Alongside him was a yellow Chevrolet and a piece of cake. The reasoning for this was Rosenquist thought it was interesting that Kennedy advertised himself, so he put that his promise was half a yellow Chevrolet and a piece of grey cake, asking what he was offering. He included his skill of political and social standing amongst popular commentary and imagery (Pop Art Movement Overview). Pop Art saved content in art, by the mid-‘50s to ‘70s Pop Art turned its content in on itself to critically mirror what was happening around it, within a few decades it had altered western life (Political Art Timeline).
Politics made Pop Art triumph because it was such a popular subject. It opened doors, and new ways of technique, there was such a non-traditional way to it that nobody could keep away. If it wasn’t for the techniques used and adopted during the boom of Pop Art back in the ‘50s, there wouldn’t be such a large amount of artists who took in the genre. Of course, it might still be popular now but the excitement of this form was revolutionizing for the art community today. In short term even with the dark topics, it was still loved just as much. In all art, there is a technique, but there is also a technique in how it is displayed for the consumer to see. In a time where death was frequent and trauma had had its reign over the world, art was produced (Tragedy).
Not just random creations but relatable and understanding images were being printed and sold to millions. This constant despair was taken advantage of and recreated with old and new techniques (Tragedy), Some dating back hundreds of years. In the book A Critical History by Steven Madoff, it talks about various ways pieces were created and how and why the artist made them that way. For mass advertisement and statements. The Technique was always the major part in why an artist was popular.
Today it is just the same. Technique is used to create tragic paintings but triumphs in its ability to create new art every time. Art gets us through dark times, it helps us express our trauma and our thoughts. Without it, there is no outlet. Triumphing through our trauma and trying new things such as Pop Art shows how strong the ability to express is. Technology helps us do that and politics gives us a subject to recreate and better understand why some people do things. Tragedy can be overcome and even if it takes a decade to do it I guess it needs to be done. Even after the war and after the mass production of post-war art, Pop Art still lived, it lives today, the movement is still strong.