Contemporary Pop

About

When it emerged in the 1960s, Pop art was not just about bold colors and celebrity culture; it brought the popular world—from cartoons and advertising to apples and bananas—into the realm of high art, turning taste on its head in the process. In the late 1980s, Jeff Koons, Ashley Bickerton, and a handful of mostly New York-based contemporary artists revived this sensibility, in a movement known informally as “Neo-Pop.” The Pop aesthetic is now wide-spread and global; artists working in this vein combine everything from camp and tchotchkes to luxury and immortal materials. Takashi Murakami's ebullient flowers or Damien Hirst’s prescription drug-named dots toy with the line between low and high art while not shying away from themes of decadence and death. At times confrontational and provocative, at times irreverent and witty, Pop art—now as then—speaks to the objects and images of our everyday lives. Perhaps Andy Warhol said it most presciently; when asked, in 1961, what Pop art is, he responded: “It's liking things.”