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Pop Art Is Alive: Classics and Modern Artworks

Quick Summary

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.

Table of Contents

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. [Last updated: Oct/31/2016]

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 back 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, you 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.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

Classics of pop art

Richard Hamilton

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 Rauschenberg

Roy Lichtenstein

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 Lichtenstein
Pop Art Showcase - Roy Lichtenstein

Robert Rauschenberg

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, paper-making, and performance.

Pop Art Showcase - Robert Rauschenberg

Jean-Michel Basquiat

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 Rauschenberg
Pop Art Showcase - Robert Rauschenberg

Jasper Johns

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 Johns
Pop Art Showcase - Jasper Johns
Pop Art Showcase - Jasper Johns

Andy Warhol

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 Warhol
Pop Art Showcase - Andy Warhol
Pop Art Showcase - Andy Warhol

Keith Haring

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 Haring
Pop Art Showcase - Keith Haring

Peter Blake

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 Blake

Peter Phillips

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 Phillips

Tom Wesselmann

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 Wesselmann
Pop Art Showcase - Tom Wesselmann

Wayne Thiebaud

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!
Pop Art Showcase - Dia De Los Muertos!

David Hockney

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 Hockney

Robert Indiana

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 Hockney

Showcase of modern pop art artists

Kevin Cherry

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 - G450
Pop Art Showcase - G450
Pop Art Showcase - G450
Pop Art Showcase - G450

35th Street Series.

Pop Art Showcase - Mario Luis
Pop Art Showcase - Mario Luis

Dia De Los Muertos!

Pop Art Showcase - Dia De Los Muertos!
Pop Art Showcase - David Habben
Pop Art Showcase - David Habben

Serie Mnenósine.

Pop Art Showcase - Luis Toledo
Pop Art Showcase - Luis Toledo

Travis Stearns

Daily Visual Language.

Pop Art Showcase - Travis Stearns

Rodolfo Biglie

This is not freedom.

Pop Art Showcase - Rodolfo Biglie

Sung-Ho Bae

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

Pop Art Showcase - Sung-Ho Bae

Coke Doggy

Pop Art Showcase - Coke Doggy

Dave Kinsey

Pop Art Showcase - Dave Kinsey

Unknown artist 1

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

Pop Art Showcase - Fuel

Eduardo Recife

Misprinted Type.

Pop Art Showcase - Eduardo Recife
Pop Art Showcase - Eduardo Recife

Unknown artist 2

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

Pop Art Showcase - Portfolio

Mario Wagner

Pop Art Showcase - Mario Wagner
Pop Art Showcase - Mario Wagner

Richard Mia

Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia
Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia
Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia
Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia
Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia

Brad Yeo

Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo
Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo
Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo

Unknown artist 3

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

Pop Art Showcase - Illustrator

Unknown artist 4

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

Pop Art Showcase - Collage

Fabienne Chemin

Pop Art Showcase - Fabienne Chemin
Pop Art Showcase - Fabienne Chemin

Collage Love Blog

Pop Art Showcase - Collage Love Blog
Pop Art Showcase - Collage Love Blog

Sara Fanelli

Pop Art Showcase - Sara Fanelli
Pop Art Showcase - Sara Fanelli

decor8

Pop Art Showcase - decor8

Mari Coan

Pop Art Showcase - Mari Coan

Marie C. Cudraz

Pop Art Showcase - Marie C. Cudraz

Sean Ryan Cooley

Hello My Generation Is…

Pop Art Showcase - Sean Ryan Cooley
Pop Art Showcase - Sean Ryan Cooley

Dia De Los Muertos!

Pop Art Showcase - Dia De Los Muertos!
Pop Art Showcase - David Habben
Pop Art Showcase - David Habben

Serie Mnenósine.

Pop Art Showcase - Luis Toledo
Pop Art Showcase - Luis Toledo

Travis Stearns

Daily Visual Language.

Pop Art Showcase - Travis Stearns

Rodolfo Biglie

This is not freedom.

Pop Art Showcase - Rodolfo Biglie

Sung-Ho Bae

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

Pop Art Showcase - Sung-Ho Bae

Coke Doggy

Pop Art Showcase - Coke Doggy

Dave Kinsey

Pop Art Showcase - Dave Kinsey

Unknown artist 1

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

Pop Art Showcase - Fuel

Eduardo Recife

Misprinted Type.

Pop Art Showcase - Eduardo Recife
Pop Art Showcase - Eduardo Recife

Unknown artist 2

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

Pop Art Showcase - Portfolio

Mario Wagner

Pop Art Showcase - Mario Wagner
Pop Art Showcase - Mario Wagner

Richard Mia

Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia
Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia
Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia
Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia
Pop Art Showcase - Richard Mia

Brad Yeo

Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo
Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo
Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo

Unknown artist 3

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

Pop Art Showcase - Illustrator

Unknown artist 4

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

Pop Art Showcase - Collage

Fabienne Chemin

Pop Art Showcase - Fabienne Chemin
Pop Art Showcase - Fabienne Chemin

Collage Love Blog

Pop Art Showcase - Collage Love Blog
Pop Art Showcase - Collage Love Blog

Sara Fanelli

Pop Art Showcase - Sara Fanelli
Pop Art Showcase - Sara Fanelli

decor8

Pop Art Showcase - decor8

Mari Coan

Pop Art Showcase - Mari Coan

Marie C. Cudraz

Pop Art Showcase - Marie C. Cudraz

Sean Ryan Cooley

Hello My Generation Is…

Pop Art Showcase - Sean Ryan Cooley
Pop Art Showcase - Sean Ryan Cooley

Restatos 1.

Pop Art Showcase - Juan Carlos Federico
Pop Art Showcase - Juan Carlos Federico

Thiago Santana

Pop Art Showcase - Thiago Santana

Mary Bogdan

Pop Art Showcase - MarilynMonroe... JackieKennedy

Futuro Woman

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 War

Sleep Tight

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 Tight

Some Day A Real Rain Will Come…

Sclater Street, London.

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

Sources and Resources