A product of the twentieth century and an outcome of the serious, incomprehensible and spiritual abstract expressionism, the Pop art culture is rapidly winning the hearts of the masses. This art form began in the middle of the 1950’s and has ever since been appreciated and loved by the general and common man, contrary to the previous scenario where very few people could witness the pieces of art, as they were limited to the galleries. Initiated by stalwarts of painting like Andy Warhol, Pop art is still being carried out very effectively in the works of the celebrated artist Peter Max.
Back in the 60’s his works came to be the ‘pictorial’ voice of the then generation that wanted to break boundaries of the traditions of love and joy. He has the credits of having painted Popes to presidents to the American heroes and the Beatles as well. His works have been expanded to the size of a Norwegian cruise ship and also to a postage stamp. He is a true American at heart even though his origins are from elsewhere and has rightly made America very proud.
Peter Max is a name that you will associated with a lot of big names like Coca Cola and NASCAR; although he had chosen to stay away from the limelight in 1970’s , yet after painting the portraits of 365 firemen who perished in the September 11 attacks, he earned further fame and recognition in the eyes of the Americans.
The focus of a pop art painting usually revolves around characters that are rather popular in areas such as comic books, advertisements, and of course in mass culture; there is a lot of use of irony in the paintings of this genre, along with the vibrant and lively colors and bold outlines. Any work of pop art is a treat to the visual senses; in fact, even the most ordinary things can be metamorphosed into the most captivating form of art. For instance, once Andy Warhol had painted 32 cans of soup of a particular company and each of those cans represented the variety of flavors that the company offered.
Even though the pop art was known by the same name in both countries, there was a marked difference between the works of the U.S. and those of Britain. The paintings in Britain had some glimpses of the elements used in Abstract Expressionism, this was not visible in the U.S. at all, and instead there was a lot of parody and everyday reality in the works of pop art in the United States.
One of the most interesting things about Pop art when it began was that it was not necessarily painted on a canvas, material backgrounds, papers, furniture or any other object could be used as a canvas to represent a pop art. In this way, the viewer of the painting was in a way forced to look at the mundane object and give it some appreciation and respect as well. Perhaps it is this aspect of pop art that has won millions of hearts worldwide.