Pop art is a commentary on our current social culture. From the production method, the colours used or the strong lines and recognizable subject matter; there is an element of playfulness within the works. The artists who have become famous for their pop art are widely known as some of the most famous artists of this century.
Andy Warhol used visual art to describe and explore celebrity culture, marketing and advertisement. He is given credit as an amazing painter but many of those works would actually qualify as printmaking today. The silkscreen print of Eight Elvises is referred to as a painting and it sold for nearly one hundred million dollars to an unknown buyer. Although his works were often controversial, the gallery exhibiting his works is the largest single artist gallery space in the United States.
Along with Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein became a strong figure in Pop Art in the 1960s. Using the comic book strip as an inspiration, Lichtenstein made extra large pieces which had an element of satire and humour to them. He often exaggerated the half tone dot background found in newspapers to accentuate the comic book effect. One of his most famous works “Drowning Girl” depicts a woman overcome by tears and a wave of light blue, half toned water. Above her head is a speech thought bubble which exclaims “I don’t care, I’d rather sink than call Brad for help!” amid the chaos.
Keith Haring is known for his contributions to pop art by addressing more sensitive subject matter and entering the pop art world from a graffiti background. He creates massive murals and draws continuously often making black and white drawings with thick black lines inspired by his spontaneous and quick drawings he made in subways.
Pop artists are some of the best known and highest paid artists of this century. When it comes to fame, these pop artists have risen quickly.