Pop Art is an art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s. The style has drastically influenced modern art through challenging the traditional norms of morality and classic history of fine art. It focuses on advertising one’s social, political or everyday beliefs through the globalization of pop music and culture. Well known Pop Art artists include: Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenburg.
A clear example of a Pop Art piece is The Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein. This painting was created in 1963 through the use of oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas. This piece depicts a young lady distressed by the circumstances she is in; this is indicated by her tightly shut hands and tears running down her face. The speech bubble above her head suggests that the situation was a heartbreak. This can further add to the ‘cheesy’ feeling that lots of Pop Art works convey. The main message of the piece is about the struggles of growing up and navigating through the adolescent years.
The use of deep, dark navy blues contrasts with the delicate softer whites and grays. This helps to add effect and drama to the girl’s face and make her expression stand out. Furthermore, Lichtenstein kept the tones of the color scheme very cool to convey the sense of sadness that the girl was feeling. In addition, there are many lines in this piece that help make the objects pop; at the same time keeping the sense of simplicity that is critical to Pop Art. For example, there is minimal to no shading. This is a very balanced piece as each object is almost ‘symmetrical’ on each side. As we see, the waves border the whole artwork, which helps to add the sense of balance. Lastly, each object is very close in proximity and alignment.
Pop Art has had a significant impact on the present and future life of Modern Art. It highlights aspects of one’s everyday life in American Culture. Moreover, almost all Pop Art pieces contain hidden symbolism that explores a range of perspectives through the use of simple, bright, bold lines and shapes!