what effect did pop art have on american culture

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What effect did Pop Art have on American culture ?

Have you ever wondered how Pop Art influenced culture? Maybe you would like to know how American culture has been influenced by this type of art?

The popularity of Pop art has influenced both the arts and business, and it has constantly transformed culture into an art-oriented spectacle that actively aims to deal with the distortions inherent in capitalism. By utilizing humor and irony, capitalism was subverted in many ways. In accepting elitist values and self-reflexive postmodernism, Pop art introduced mass cultural elements, bringing art to young Americans as they began to realize the advantages provided by postwar consumer paradise.

This article will demonstrate Pop art in America and with an emphasis on how it reflects the core values of American's culture.

In this article, you will learn: 

  • What makes Pop Art so influential
  • How Pop art influenced American culture
  • If Pop Art is an expression of popular American culture

After reading this article, you will know more about the influence of Pop art in the United States.

usa pop art

I) What is Pop Art culture ?

Culture refers to the way people live their lives. Cultural components include norms, values, beliefs, attitudes, and cognitive mapping, all of which are geared toward achieving the survival of society. These facets are reflected in various aspects of the social structure as well as fine arts, music and various rituals. 

Culture is dynamic, and values are reevaluated and changed with that change of culture so that individuals are more able to adapt to the changes in society. 

Pop Art Culture was a movement in art that began in the United States and the UK in the mid-1950s. Pop artists injected their work with details and images inspired by consumerist culture (including comic books, Hollywood films, and advertisements) using the style and look of mass culture or popular culture.

pop art face

Alternatively, popular culture consists of things that are very common in our society today, such as movies, video games, TV, the internet, music, magazines, and all these aspects of advertising sports, as well as combining them all. All of these topics of popular culture are glorified by American cultures, often included in pop art produced in the country.

In order to understand pop art, we should consider Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Jones, whose work draws inspiration from popular and cultural factors such as advertising, movies and music. Contrary to photorealism and pop art, artists with this approach can incorporate narratives and expression into their artwork in a complementary manner.

1) Relevance of Pop Art in Today's Society

During the past decade, Pop Art has grown into a vast empire of inspiration for the fashion and design industries as well as the entertainment industry, advertising methods, and the larger popular culture department in general to this day.

influences of the pop art phenomenon

2) Insight into Pop Art

During the mid-1950s through the late 1960s, a movement known as Pop art propagated throughout the United Kingdom and the United States. In the movement, influence from popular and mass culture was incorporated, including advertisements, comic strips, and common objects, challenging the notions of fine art that had previously been held.

3) Influences of Pop Art

A number of artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Jones are considered part of the pop art movement, which draws inspiration and definition from various cultures and sources, including advertising, movies and popular culture.

A) The impact of Pop Art on American Advertisement

Consumer culture and Pop Art transformed how society perceived art and how the economy interprets it afterward. Due to the popularity of Pop art as a marketing tool, various mediums are used to display Pop art to market more magazines and other consumer goods in an effort to promote sales of those things.

pop art and advertising

B) The impact of Pop Art on American fashion

Pop Art takes on simplistic life experiences; it introduces a new, mass culture aspect to the art world. Within that new generation of American consumers, who were starting to experience the benefits of postwar America's consumer paradise, Pop Art contributed to the mainstreaming of art.

C) The impact of Pop Art on American culture and society

By portraying mass culture icons and media stars, the Pop Art movement aimed to blur the distinction between "high" and "low" culture. As a result of the concept that there is no hierarchy of culture or that art may adopt any of the influences from various sources, Pop Art is known for being one of the most influential movements.

4) Famous Pop Art Artists 

American artists whose work has been influenced by pop art include the following:

  • Robert Indiana 

Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark in Indiana, but when he moved to New York in 1954, he took his native state's name. It was that love artwork that best exemplified his fascination with the power of ordinary words that was never more evident than in his works about LOVE. 

This creation became one of the most iconic images of Pop art due to its significance as an original Christmas card created for the Museum of Modern Art in 1965.

robert indiana museum

  • Andy Warhol  

A leading proponent of the movement, perhaps more widely known, Andy Warhol used his celebrity status to distill Pop Art into other artistic spheres, especially film. It is often said that he is considered the forefather of independent cinema. The fascination with popular culture and fame that Warhol felt inspired him to produce a number of screen prints depicting the faces of celebrities, experimenting with different colors and multiplications. 

During the period when the artist painted the Marilyn Diptych, he sketched 50 images of Marlin Monroe. Half of them were painted in color, one half in black and white.

andy warhol pop art collage

  • Keith Haring 

Keith Haring, who was a well-known American street artist back in the 1980s, converted the subways into his studios. With the assistance of chalk, he etched his signature designs in the walls of the subways. As an example of this, his Radiant Baby, which for him was the purest and most positive human experience he had ever had, was one of these experiences. The image has become a recurring aesthetic idiom that Haring uses throughout many of his works and is now considered the artist's signature tag.

II) How American culture is reflected in Pop Art ?

As an art form, pop was first introduced to English language in 1954. It was Rauschenberg and Lichtenstein who introduced Pop art to America, challenging traditional abstract expressionist painting. Through the use of collages and assemblages in Dada, they were able to use Pop Art as a method of expressing their desire for change.

pop art canvas

Europeans, especially British painters, followed this tradition, and since Americans were very aggressive, they had to stand on their ground and come up with new ways to present their artwork. As a result, they focused on works that highlighted popular culture. Generally, Americans are known for being very aggressive in that once they borrow an idea from another society, they alter it and furnish it to make it more appealing. These characteristics are seen in their comic works, which were satirical.

In the United States, the Pop Art movement developed most notably in two major cities: New York and Los Angeles.

Due to the fact that the art scene in New York differed from the one in Los Angeles, the development of Pop Art in these two cities developed quite differently, with different groups of artists using popular culture to interpret their own interpretations.

The following topics are some of the main ways Americans reflect Pop Art Culture.

1) Americans value progress and self-confidence

In America, the self-confidence of people led them to move from European-style art to newer forms. A later paper by Osterwold argues that at the great Armory show of 1913 in New York, American artists demonstrated an inclination for European abstract formalism but they also displayed a regional art whose subject matter dealt with American life, the new technology and the dawn of the media age. American oomph and self-confidence still drive them even today because they are certain that no one can beat them.

trump pop art

In order to move forward, Americans believe that various changes are required in society. At times, they invite serious criticism. Society must adapt to keep up with the fact that culture is dynamic.

As a result of the political upheavals in the 1940s and 1950s, there was a move toward realism in art, culminating in the 1960s American art. Osterwold indicates that the "younger generation of artists were beginning to outgrow the abstract-expressionist style of the fifties". The 1953 drawing erased by de Kooning symbolizes the process of separating the younger generation itself from the elder. The transition happens in every aspect of American society. Pop art is also known for transmitting emotion through images that American people can relate. 

2) Americans have been preoccupied with gender

For a long time, America has been obsessed with the subject of gender, a term that refers to the cultural construction of biological differences between men and women. In their work, artists have portrayed the American value of femininity and masculinity.

Lichtenstein's comic strips are a good example, since they explode the stock signifiers of mainstream American culture. Because of this, in the 1960s, Americans believed that men were stronger than women, which could explain why men were recruited into the military at this time. 1960s gender injustice led to feminist movements in the 1970s.

retro wonder woman pop art

Additionally, gender roles were placed in different spheres around this time, such as combat and war. It could be argued that Lichtenstein emphasized war in Asia more than anywhere else, showing America's need for war to control natural resources.

Lichtenstein's photos portray the Korean War or the Vietnam War. It presents women as the weaker sex and places them in a very disadvantaged position in comparison to men, which is very chauvinistic. As a result, women were not capable of being leaders since they appeared to be emotional and wimpy around this time.

3) The American sexuality crisis

Diverse pop artists have addressed topics of sexuality, although, initially, this type of work was deemed unacceptable by society. During the 1960s, morality was king, and heterosexual marriage was the norm, so this topic was not welcome. The work depicting homosexuality is the sole responsibility of Andy Warhol.

gay pop art

Several colleagues, including Susan Sontag, criticized his work as a good taste of bad taste. Warhol also touches on the dress code of the American people in addition to homosexuality.

Hopkins identifies "Warhol's stylish gold leaf collages of celebrity shoes" as evidence that American society consists of a hierarchical hierarchy with celebrities considered to be at the top of the social ladder. Even today, celebrities hold a unique place within American society and are highly respected.

4) American life all too reflects class struggle

Class struggle is also depicted in pop art, as it is a daily occurrence in America. The majority of Pop art depicts the class struggle between white and black people. In his work titled champion, Andrew has highlighted this class struggle which began in the 1960s.

The champion symbolizes survival, tenacity, and cultural identity Patton. The author of Patton's work quotes Andrews' statement in which he asserts that Andrews made the statement to demonstrate the strength of the black person, his ability to persevere in spite of overwhelming odds.

art history references in pop culture

5) The American diet has changed

Americans place a great deal of importance on food in their culture. In terms of art, there is a shift toward consumerism, and most of the art depicts these trends. Increasingly, Americans prefer to have meals outside their homes. A higher demand exists for herbal food, and many different types of food are being produced for older people, children, and sportsmen. 

Continuing along this line, Rodriguez (2008) contends that a growth and use of convenience foods and fast-food restaurants have given way to an "Americanization" of diet. As a result, we can explain why there are many advertisements in both print and electronic media with images and photos of people in restaurants or of burgers.

pop art burger

III) What is the difference between pop culture and popular culture ?

Popular culture can be defined as a style of cultural expression that is overwhelmingly popular among large numbers of people without any negative connotations. Conversely, Pop culture is defined as objects of consumption that mass producers make for mass consumption by far more diverse consumers who are not discriminating in their material and cultural beliefs.

In comparison to the "culture of the individual", popular culture is defined by the interactions between individuals in their everyday lives. Styles of dress, slang language, greeting rituals, and the food that people eat are all examples of popular culture. These reflect various standards and common beliefs between people in various societies.

comic pop art canvas

In conclusion, it can be said that pop art gained prominence in America in the 1960s. For many years, it has represented the core values of American society and the culture of the country as a whole. The process of looking at and analyzing pop culture and, by extension, pop art can help one to gain a better understanding of the organization of American society.

There are plenty of artists who present their work and ideas in Pop art even today, either as a way to earn money or express their dissatisfaction with some of the aspects of their society. There will be a continuous flow of Pop art in the United States as long as Americans believe that the sky's the limit.

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