The visual art movement known as Pop Art began in Britain during the middle of the 1950s. It later moved into the United States culture by the end of this same decade. Pop Art paintings are usually of characters that are popular in advertising, comic books, and anyone else who plays a large part in mass culture. Irony tends to be used extensively in Pop Art design. Even the most mundane objects can be painted or drawn in such a way that they are truly a work of art.
Sometimes the most intriguing paintings are of images that are common in everyday advertising. A prime example of this would be the painting of cans of soup that Andy Warhol made. Each of the 32 cans in the painting depicted the type of soup offered by a certain company at the time the painting was created. Andy Warhol played a large part in boosting the movement. His painting titled Eight Elvises, which is also considered Pop Art, brought 100 million dollars.
Paintings done in the Pop style varied between Britain and the United States, even though this movement was referred to as the Pop Art movement in both locations. In Britain, the paintings reflected what was popular in America and also added onto some aspects seen in Abstract Expressionism.
In America, paintings included irony, parody, and mundane reality. Pablo Picasso was considered a partial founder in the Cubist movement, but is also thought to have partially paved the way for future Pop Artists.
The Independent Group in London consisted of many young sculptors, writes, painters, critics, and architects. These individuals approached culture with the idea that it should be challenged. Discussions revolved around popular culture and often gave rise to various works of art that also focused on popular culture. It is this group that inspired paintings in the Pop style.
Paintings during the movement weren’t always created from paint on canvas. There were other visual arts that came to be as well. Paint applied to paper or material backgrounds, faces painted onto furniture or on many other objects were also considered Pop Art. These works of art took an ordinary object and forced the viewer of the painting to take this simple item into consideration. An example would be the flag painting made by Jasper Johns.
The American flag was made from a combination of oil paints and collage pieces, and then these were placed on canvas. This painting is of what looks to be a plain American flag, but it is actually a collage of materials that are red, white, or blue. These pieces of material gave depth and texture to the painting, causing it to be more than just a flag painting.