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British Pop Art versus Nouveau Realisme - Essay Example

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British Pop Art versus Nouveau Realisme

Pop Art emerged in 1950’s Britain and quickly took root in America and other parts of the world as well. The style formed in response to abstract; the latter being considered an overdone, muddled interpretation of reality by many artists who desired to create art that could be more easily appreciated by the masses. The fact was that with abstract art, audiences and different artists like Allan Jones felt that the works being produced were supportive of elitism. Small, trendy art audiences would attend gallery openings, discuss the paintings and in most cases were encouraged to think of themselves as a privileged bunch who were able to see through the ambiguous artwork to the ‘true meaning’. To take down this elitist mentality that was rampant in the world of art, Pop Artists decided to show their own interpretations of the world in a clear, concise manner that could be appreciated by the average person on the street. The object of Pop Art was to do just as its name suggested: to take images, techniques and styles from popular culture and use them in the creation of new works of art. Artists admitted for the first time that they were actually targeting a larger audience than was usual, and in doing so hoped to bring an appreciation of their work to the masses instead of to a small elite group. If direct reference was made to popular culture and imagery in the art itself, then people who usually were not interested in artistic interpretation would find themselves drawn into the work. By using popular culture as the basis for the artwork, artists felt that they had a better chance of getting into the minds of the common people and encouraging them to think about their world and the messages that might be behind the art.
A major factor of British Pop Art was its tendency to emphasize those aspects of the British culture that were considered mundane or banal (Chilvers 305). Artists who used different styles thought that the artwork portrayed a mindlessness inherent in British society; others thought it showed nothing more than a breakdown of art itself from an intellectual philosophical form of expression to the expression of common ignorance. Perhaps inadvertently, Pop Artists were renewing the old ties of realism to the art world after the abstract phase and because of this many other artists have been inspired to create art using unorthodox methods and imagery.
Whatever the actual effect of Pop Art on its audience, the fact remains that its creators were seeking a way out of what they viewed as an ...Show more


The essay aims to compare "British Pop Art and Nouveau Realisme". The artists within both the Pop Art and Nouveau Realisme categories maintain that their work springs from a need to counterbalance the abstract art being presented. …
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British Pop Art versus Nouveau Realisme essay example
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