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Peter Max Gives a Whole New Meaning To Pop Art

By on May 13, 2019

Pop art is an art movement that developed in the 1950s and thrived in the 1960s in America and Britain, drawing motivation from sources in commercial and popular culture. Different countries and cultures contributed to the movement during the 1960s and 70s.

Emerging in the late 1950s in America, pop art reached its zenith in the 1960s. It began as a rebellion against the central approaches to art and culture and out-of-date views on what art should be. Young artists felt that what they were taught at art school and what they saw in galleries and Facebook did not have anything to do with their lives or the things they saw around them on a daily basis. In its place, they turned to sources such as Hollywood movies, product packaging, advertising, pop music, and comic books for their images.

Pop Art is: Popular (intended for a mass audience), Temporary (short-term solution), Dispensable (easily forgotten), Low cost, Mass produced, Fledgling (aimed at youth), Witty, Gimmicky, Trendy, Big business. Pop art in America progressed in a little inversely way to its British counterpart. American Pop Art by Peter Max was both a reaction against and a development of Abstract Expressionist painting. Abstract Expressionism was the primary American art movement to attain universal acclaim but, by the mid-1950s, many felt it had become too elitist and introspective. American Pop Art progressed as an effort to converse this trend by reintroducing the image as an organizational device in painting, to pull art back from the anonymity of abstraction into the real world again. This was a model that had been established before. Picasso had done something comparable forty years earlier when he collaged ‘real world’ printed imageries on his still life, as he feared that his painting was becoming too immaterial.

The continuing role of the New Age artists like Peter Max in the modern age

Modernist agents were perplexed by the pop artists’ use of such ‘low’ subject matter and by their deceptively credulous treatment of it. In actual fact, pop both took art into innovative areas of subject matter and established new ways of bestowing it in art and can be seen as one of the foremost appearances of postmodernism. In the United States, the pop style was reappearance to representative art (art that depicted the visual world in an identifiable way) and the use of distinct forms and hard edges after the painterly ampleness of abstract expressionism. By using mundane, impersonal imagery, pop artists also wanted to back off from the prominence on personal symbolism and personal feelings that characterized abstract expressionism.

In the USA, the movement was more intellectual in its approach. While employing parody and irony, it centered more on what millions of American popular imagery represented by Peter Max, and its authority in manipulating agents’ lifestyles. Pop art was not taken seriously by the public, but it found critical acceptance as a form of art suited to the highly technological, mass-media oriented society of Western countries.

About Pooja Sharma

Pooja is a digital nomad and founder of She travels the world while freelancing & blogging. She has over 5 years of experience in the field with multiple awards. She enjoys pie, as should all right-thinking people.

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