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Pop Art Is Alive: Classics and Modern Artworks


As a visual art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s, pop art aims to emphasize the nature of things popular in our daily routine. In pop art, most artists use mechanical means of rendering techniques that downplay the expressive hand of the artist. Being an art movement, it has some expressive attributes other styles do not possess.

In pop art, a vivid manifestation of pop culture reflects in vibrant colors and busy, sometimes hardly recognizable artistic approaches. Street culture, trash, collage, comic books, grunge, graffiti and photo montage are typical design elements that were widely used by designers and artists a few decades ago. And since grunge found its way back1 and became popular again, it makes perfect sense to analyze the design elements of pop art which are similar to this artistic style.

This post presents 75 outstanding examples of classic and modern pop art. Hopefully, everybody will find some inspiration for future works or at least smile when scanning the images presented below. Please notice: pop art can be quite vibrant and not necessarily pretty — in fact, some examples show that it doesn’t have to be pretty at all.

Please take a look at the following similar and related posts:

Classics of pop art Link

Richard Hamilton5
Hamilton’s collage Just What Is It that Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing? (1956) is considered by some critics and historians to be the first work of Pop Art. The piece has all the human senses cast in various modes; the purpose of the picture was to “provoke acute awareness of the sensory functions in an environmental situation”.

Pop Art Showcase - Robert Rauschenberg6

Roy Lichtenstein7
Lichtenstein’s most famous image is arguably Whaam! (1963), one of the earliest known examples of pop art, adapted a comic-book panel from a 1962 issue of DC Comics’ All-American Men of War. The painting depicts a fighter aircraft firing a rocket into an enemy plane, with a red-and-yellow explosion. Another famous example is the M-Maybe Girl (1965) which has become an icon for the pop art movement.

Pop Art Showcase - Roy Lichtenstein8

Pop Art Showcase - Roy Lichtenstein9

Robert Rauschenberg10
Rauschenberg is perhaps most famous for his “Combines” of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. While the Combines are both painting and sculpture, Rauschenberg has also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance.

Pop Art Showcase - Robert Rauschenberg11

Jean-Michel Basquiat12
Jean-Michel Basquiat gained popularity, first as a graffiti artist in New York City, and then as a successful 1980s-era Neo-expressionist artist. Basquiat’s paintings continue to influence modern day artists and command high prices.

Pop Art Showcase - Robert Rauschenberg13

Pop Art Showcase - Robert Rauschenberg14

Jasper Johns15
Jasper Johns is best known for his painting Flag (1954-55), which he painted after having a dream of the American flag. His work is often described as a ‘Neo-Dadaist’, as opposed to pop art, even though his subject matter often includes images and objects from popular culture. Still, many compilations on pop art include Jasper Johns as a pop artist because of his artistic use of classical iconography.

Pop Art Showcase - Jasper Johns16

Pop Art Showcase - Jasper Johns17

Pop Art Showcase - Jasper Johns18

Andy Warhol19
Andy Warhol was a central figure in the pop art movement. His early paintings show images taken from cartoons and advertisements, hand-painted with paint drips. Those drips emulated the style of successful abstract expressionists (such as Robert Rauschenberg). Eventually, Warhol pared his image vocabulary down to the icon itself—to brand names, celebrities, dollar signs—and removed all traces of the artist’s “hand” in the production of his paintings.

Pop Art Showcase - Andy Warhol20

Pop Art Showcase - Andy Warhol21

Pop Art Showcase - Andy Warhol22

Keith Haring23
An artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s. Haring’s imagery has become a universally recognized visual language of the 20th century.

Pop Art Showcase - Keith Haring24

Pop Art Showcase - Keith Haring25

Peter Blake26
During the late 1950s, Peter Blake became one of the best known British pop artists. His paintings from this time included imagery from advertisements, music hall entertainment, and wrestlers, often including collaged elements. On the Balcony (1955-57) is a significant early work and still stands as one of the iconic pieces of British Pop Art, showing Blake’s interest in combining images from pop culture with fine art. The work, which appear to be a collage but is in fact wholly painted, shows, among other things, a boy holding Edouard Manet’s The Balcony, badges and magazines. It was inspired by a painting by Honoré Sharrer depicting workers holding famous paintings.

Pop Art Showcase - Peter Blake27

Peter Phillips28
An English artist who is one of the pioneers of the Pop Art movement. Philips’s work ranges from oils on canvas to multi-media compositions and collages to sculptures and architecture. His most popular painting For Men Only – Starring MM and BB (1961) is created using oil, wood and collage on canvas.

Pop Art Showcase - Peter Phillips29

Tom Wesselmann30
Different from other pop art artists, Tom Wesselmann specialized in found art collages. Wesselmann started working on a series of Still Lifes, continuing the use of collage but incorporating real objects: he picked up shelves, television sets, a refrigerator wherever he happened to find them, and turned them into new assemblages.

Pop Art Showcase - Tom Wesselmann31

Pop Art Showcase - Tom Wesselmann32

Wayne Thiebaud33
Thiebaud is an American painter whose most famous works are of cakes, pastries, boots, toilets, toys and lipsticks. He is associated with the Pop art movement because of his interest in objects of mass culture, however, his works, executed during the 50s and 60s, slightly predate the works of the classic pop artists. Thiebaud uses heavy pigment and exaggerated colors to depict his subjects, and the well-defined shadows characteristic of advertisements are almost always included in his work.

Pop Art Showcase - Dia De Los Muertos!34

Pop Art Showcase - Dia De Los Muertos!35

David Hockney36
David Hockney is best known from his swimming pool paintings from 1967-1968 (below: A Bigger Splash (1967)). An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century.

Pop Art Showcase - David Hockney37

Robert Indiana38
Robert Indiana was using distinctive imagery drawing on commercial art approaches blended with existentialism, that gradually moved toward what Indiana calls “sculptural poems”. Indiana’s work often consists of bold, simple, iconic images, especially numbers and short words like “EAT”, “HUG”, and “LOVE”. One of the best known works by Indiana is Love Rising (1968) displayed below.

Pop Art Showcase - David Hockney39

Showcase of modern pop art artists Link

Kevin Cherry40
Kevin Cherry’s collages resembles the work of the artists of the 60s, however, it is often taken to the next level as digital art is often also embedded in his work.

Pop Art Showcase - G45041

Pop Art Showcase - G45042

Pop Art Showcase - G45043

Pop Art Showcase - G45044

Mario Luis45
35th Street Series.

Pop Art Showcase - Mario Luis46

Pop Art Showcase - Mario Luis47

Mark Malazarte48
Dia De Los Muertos!

Pop Art Showcase - Dia De Los Muertos!49

David Habben50

Pop Art Showcase - David Habben51

Pop Art Showcase - David Habben52

Luis Toledo53
Serie Mnenósine.

Pop Art Showcase - Luis Toledo54

Pop Art Showcase - Luis Toledo55

Travis Stearns56
Daily Visual Language.

Pop Art Showcase - Travis Stearns57

Rodolfo Biglie58
This is not freedom.

Pop Art Showcase - Rodolfo Biglie59

Sung-Ho Bae60
The winner of Adobe – Education:2007 Adobe Design Achievement Awards. Title: Nine inverse proportion problems we have.

Pop Art Showcase - Sung-Ho Bae61

Coke Doggy62

Pop Art Showcase - Coke Doggy63

Dave Kinsey64

Pop Art Showcase - Dave Kinsey65

Unknown artist 166
Please let us know the name of the artist in the comments!

Pop Art Showcase - Fuel67

Eduardo Recife68
Misprinted Type.

Pop Art Showcase - Eduardo Recife69

Pop Art Showcase - Eduardo Recife70

Unknown artist 271
Please let us know the name of the artist in the comments!

Pop Art Showcase - Portfolio72

Mario Wagner73

Pop Art Showcase - Mario Wagner74

Pop Art Showcase - Mario Wagner75

Richard Mia76

Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia77

Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia78

Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia79

Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia80

Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia81

Brad Yeo82

Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo83

Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo84

Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo85

Unknown artist 386
Please let us know the name of the artist in the comments!

Pop Art Showcase - Illustrator87

Unknown artist 488
Please let us know the name of the artist in the comments!

Pop Art Showcase - Collage89

Fabienne Chemin90

Pop Art Showcase - Fabienne Chemin91

Pop Art Showcase - Fabienne Chemin92

Collage Love Blog93

Pop Art Showcase - Collage Love Blog94

Pop Art Showcase - Collage Love Blog95

Sara Fanelli96

Pop Art Showcase - Sara Fanelli97

Pop Art Showcase - Sara Fanelli98


Pop Art Showcase - decor8100

Mari Coan101

Pop Art Showcase - Mari Coan102

Marie C. Cudraz103

Pop Art Showcase - Marie C. Cudraz104

Sean Ryan Cooley105
Hello My Generation Is…

Pop Art Showcase - Sean Ryan Cooley106

Pop Art Showcase - Sean Ryan Cooley107

Juan Carlos Federico108
Restatos 1.

Pop Art Showcase - Juan Carlos Federico109

Pop Art Showcase - Juan Carlos Federico110

Thiago Santana111

Pop Art Showcase - Thiago Santana112

Mary Bogdan113

Pop Art Showcase - MarilynMonroe... JackieKennedy114

Futuro Woman115
The Drug War. “I’ve recently acquired some pretty amazing vintage ephemera. It’s all so incredible that I am loathe to actually cut or glue it. Thus, this is a collage made using scanner photography–I arranged the pieces using the scanner bed as my canvas, then took the photo with the scanner. Now the paper is all back in its box, awaiting another moment of adoration.”

Pop Art Showcase - The Drug War116

Sleep Tight117
This piece is set to go to Hamburg Germany for the show “Don’t Wake Daddy II” in December. Created by Jason Limon.

Pop Art Showcase - Sleep Tight118

Some Day A Real Rain Will Come…119
Sclater Street, London.

Pop Art Showcase - Some Day A Real Rain Will Come...120

Pop Art Showcase - Some Day A Real Rain Will Come...121

Sources and Resources Link

Footnotes Link

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  2. 2

    Smashing Magazine again lives up to its high quality standards! Excellent post! Keep smashing!!!

  3. 3

    Enjoyed this collection, particularly the style of Kevin Cherry, nice stuff.

  4. 4

    I don’t get pop art.
    It’s dirty (by means: messy), the color’s are ugly and i never ever will put a picture with pop art on any of my walls.
    Pop art really is the only art direction i don’t like.

  5. 5

    Besides enjoying the collection I wonder – did you have any copyright issues in posting all that artwork here?

  6. 6

    Ah… a new post finally. Good stuff…

  7. 7

    July 21, 2008 3:41 am

    Some great stuff here. I’m not a pop-art fan per se, but I think there is definately inspiration to be had here.

    Just look at some of the less ‘messy’ pieces, there are influences and trends hiding in there which we are expereincing in our design world now, or have in the last half century. Love it or hate it, Pop Art continues to be hugely influential.. just like Smashing Mag, keep up the good work in broadening our mindset!

  8. 8

    Very nice recap of an era of the modern art history!

  9. 9

    Good Images, but i must say that two artists, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, are not from the Pop movement. They are pre-pop, and influenced the movement, but did not make part of it, mainly because of their themes for works… Tottaly different.
    But, the others, very good! Thanks!

  10. 10

    great post!

  11. 11

    Hmm I agree Pop art is certainly not my flavour. But to each there own.

  12. 12

    once again great post.

  13. 13

    POP has not died, POP lives

  14. 14

    David Habben’s work is interesting!

    Niki Brown Niki Brown

  15. 15

    bravo et merci ! j’adore !

  16. 16

    I love pop art! Thanks for the great collection.
    Still one of my favourites is Keith Haring – I like his work very much!

  17. 17

    I think the Unknown artist 3 is Tim Marrs because the picture looks very similar than hes work.

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    Unknown Artist #2 is Sean McCabe

  20. 20

    Moritz Feierabend

    July 21, 2008 6:37 am

    Very nice selection !!

  21. 21

    Lovely art-Big fan of Andy Warhol myself.

  22. 22

    Damn good! I love this style!!!! WOW WOW WOW!!!

  23. 23

    Excellent. I did something similar to the very last one on my kitchen wall .

  24. 24

    Awesome! (Shouldn’t it be titled Classics and Contemporary Artworks?)

  25. 25

    You guys are beautiful, keep it coming, long live Smashing Magazine!

  26. 26

    Nice collection! :-)

  27. 27

    I LOVED this post!
    Keep it up!

  28. 28

    Besides enjoying the collection I wonder – did you have any copyright issues in posting all that artwork here?

    Yes, listing a bunch of artists and their work to a large design audience, for free, with small, screen sized, JPEG compressed thumbnails is such an awful ethics violation that I feel like vomiting.

  29. 29

    You should stop posting crap like this – pop art, vintage and retro is boring and uninspiring. Sometimes I really think that you’ve run out of ideas? Stop this crap, please.

  30. 30

    Good review, although I’m a little surprised Banksy didn’t make your list of currently working pop artists. “His” strong iconic imagery and social commentary definitely puts him in league with the others on this list, and you did include at least one other street artist.


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