American artist Craig Alan uses a classical and realistic approach to painting while using a plethora of intriguing subject matter. His artistic oeuvre covers a wide range of themes from fantasy and surreal to illustrative and narrative. In his series Populus, the artist interposes familiar pop images such as Marilyn Monroe and Andy Warhol as well as modern muses such as Jeff Koon’s’ Balloon Dog and Robert Indiana’s Love sculptures within a crowded scene. Using a dynamic bird’s eye perspective – he draws on our ability to bring things together into a familiar whole. From up close we can see each figure coming closer together, and as you step further away from the piece, it takes you into another dimension of popular culture. This series serves as a reminder decades later we are all still drawn to these ever-present pop icons, defining generation after generation.
Pop Art 1950’ and 1960’s
The word “pop” in Pop Art comes from the word popular, in other words, it is an art movement inspired by the ideology of popular culture and mainstream entertainment and media. This style of painting was first created by a British artist named Richard Hamilton and later developed and became well known throughout the United States especially in New York and California. American pop artists include Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol to name a few.
The movement presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books, and mundane cultural objects. One of its aims is to use images of popular (as opposed to elitist) culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any culture, most often through the use of irony. It is also associated with the artists’ use of mechanical means of reproduction or rendering techniques. In pop art, the material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, or combined with unrelated content.
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