The World Goes Pop with Alan Cumming | Unlock Art | Tate


This is Andy Warhol and this is a can of
soup these are screen prints of cans of soup
by Andy Warhol This is pop art Pop art began in the mid
1950s when artists started making art inspired by Hollywood movies, advertising,
pop music and comic books There were two types of pop art Pop art made in America
about America, pop art made in Britain about America. Pop artists in America made
art about what it was like to live the American dream. Andy Warhol began his
career in advertising before realising that he could screen print pictures of
soup cans and Coca-Cola onto canvases and sell them in the same way
advertisers sell real soup cans and real Coca-Cola He wore a silver wig, lived in a silver
factory in New York and hung out with groovy kids like Gerard Malanga, Nico, Lou Reed
and Edie Sedgwick. She also had silver hair. He said in the future, everyone would be
famous for 15 minutes He liked fame, he liked money, and he made art about both Other pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein
painted the world as a comic strip This painting is called ‘Whaam!’ Lichtenstein was imitating the industrial techniques of mass production in the same way as
mechanical reproduction had imitated the techniques of artists It was called ‘parody’. This is a sculpture by Klaus Oldenburg. He blew up everyday
objects to monumental proportions in an attempt to question what constitutes an
iconic image in a modern society which embraces disposable, mass-produced items Now let’s look at British pop art This is Great Britain after the Second World
War. It looks as drab as a post-war Russian book This is America after the Second World War It looks like Disneyland. Artists in Britain began making art about America’s vibrant and aspirational can do culture It was witty, whimsical and sometimes ironic This is a collage by Richard Hamilton It confronts the mass advertising coming
to Britain from America Here’s Peter Blake, he painted pin-up girls and wrestlers Here he is wearing American jeans and
holding a magazine all about Elvis Presley Ensuring the influence American
culture is having on Britain Love the badges Peter David Hockney, who is from Bradford, moved Los Angeles for the American lifestyle Here is his swimming pool and here is his palm tree It’s much sunnier in LA than it is in Bradford Not everyone liked pop art. The art
historian Canon Greenberg said it was superficial Andy Warhol agreed, and
responded by saying he was a deeply superficial person In fact, pop had found
new subject matter in mass production and had developed new ways of presenting it, like comic strips and screen prints As Andy Warhol explained, once you’ve got pop, you could never see a sign the same way again And once you thought pop you
could never see America the same way again

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