I hope to explore the images of comic strips consumerism and symbolism in pop art that have been influenced in our everyday lives and how the mass media, advertising and popular culture are portrayed through pop art. One of the greatest iconic pop culture artists Andy Warhol suggests “I like boring things” this is a broad indication of a part of how pop culture is based on. It exposes how objects in everyday life can be right in front of us and we as people don’t think twice about what we are using. For example, Andy Warhol creates a wooden sculpture and painting based on the simplicity of ‘Campbell’s tomato soup’ an item he had been consuming for over 20 years frequently. I began to see interest in the field of pop art when I was at a younger age I was surrounded by it due to the mass media, constant advertisement imagery and basically elements of consumerism which created connection between the people.
I was inspired to continue this art form as it drives my passion; it stems my love for consumerism. People can appreciate everyday objects and bright colours the same way as it derives me. I aim to experiment with a range of materials and techniques throughout my exploration in pop art. Digital photography was by far the most loved personally in my pervious Unit 1 carried in Studio Arts. It is an art media that I can place my skills to use and excel at. A digital single-lens reflex camera was the tool used to photograph objects and the photographs were further transferred into an editorial suite (Adobe Photoshop) and were manipulated to create a completely new picture. This technique can further be perused in creating pop art as there are a vast amount of filters found in editorial suites alongside blending pictures, masking, colour and picture correcting and abstracting of photos.
Silver gelatin photography is another photographic process, however required more manual work. Strategies are used to create the desired pictures required such as amount of light exposure and how long chemicals should be run through. Pop art collages could be perfectly executed with this medium. Acrylic paint and water colour were two materials I continued to suffer with. However, I am looking to immensely improve and adapt them so I can incorporate the two materials into my pop art collaborative pieces. One thing I picked up from in Unit 1 was that it’s best to think creatively outside the box, extending ideas that come to mind to create a whole new level.
100 CANS, 1962
Oil on canvas
72 x 52 inches (182.9 x 132.1 cm)
The Campbell’s Soup Cans painting carries historical significance and represents what was happening in America during the 1960s. America had become an industrial culture in which products, machinery, and food were being mass-produced, and it seemed that everything was a commodity. Andy Warhol wanted to acknowledge this phenomenon in his art. He wanted us not to focus on the composition of his work, but rather the idea behind it. The idea here is that the mundane, like a can of soup, matters. In addition, the use of repetitive imagery and mechanical processes creates an illusion that art can be mass produced and consumed by everyone. Warhol used the same shapes, dull colours and lines to create his image. The pattern that was created has a rhythm, but also repetition because each of the elements is repeated over and over in a recognisable organisation. I can potentially transfer these art elements and principles into making my own artwork that serves consumerism with my own product.
Oil on Canvas
Dimensions 118cm by 111.8cm
Roy Lichtenstein’s comic images of girls with speech balloons was a major trend in the 1960s It contains vibrant colours with bold and wavy lines to add emotion to the scene. I would like to potentially use vibrant colours in collaboration with acrylic paint to express emotions in my own art pieces or create subliminal messages that entail emotion to the viewers. Colours and emotions can be used in different parts of the background to present mixed feelings or different views in the image.
1956, Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing Collage
Dimensions: 26cm by 24.8cm
Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? Literally elevates kitsch to high art, as symbolized by the framed comic book cover against the wall. The body builder on the left and naked woman on the right symbolise the commodification of the human form into just another business transaction—something to be marketed to relentlessly, idealised in the name of selling deodorant and toothpaste. All of these things in the collage are placed in the artwork composition for a reason ‘nothing was an accident’. Each object was thoughtfully placed to symbolise and have a meaning. I can use this same methodology in my own work by adding many digital/silver gelatin photos and other mixed media in creating collages to build me own theme and representations in advertising or symbolism.