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Pop Art Is Alive: Classics and Modern Artworks

As a visual art movement1 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. [Content Care 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 back2 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 Hamilton6 Link

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 Rauschenberg7

Roy Lichtenstein8 Link

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 Lichtenstein9
Pop Art Showcase - Roy Lichtenstein

Robert Rauschenberg10 Link

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 Rauschenberg11

Jean-Michel Basquiat12 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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

Mario Luis41 Link

35th Street Series.

Pop Art Showcase - Mario Luis42
Pop Art Showcase - Mario Luis43

Mark Malazarte44 Link

Dia De Los Muertos!

Pop Art Showcase - Dia De Los Muertos!45

David Habben46 Link

Pop Art Showcase - David Habben47
Pop Art Showcase - David Habben48

Luis Toledo49 Link

Serie Mnenósine.

Pop Art Showcase - Luis Toledo50
Pop Art Showcase - Luis Toledo51

Travis Stearns Link

Daily Visual Language.

Pop Art Showcase - Travis Stearns

Rodolfo Biglie Link

This is not freedom.

Pop Art Showcase - Rodolfo Biglie

Sung-Ho Bae Link

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

Pop Art Showcase - Sung-Ho Bae

Coke Doggy52 Link

Pop Art Showcase - Coke Doggy53

Dave Kinsey54 Link

Pop Art Showcase - Dave Kinsey55

Unknown artist 156 Link

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

Pop Art Showcase - Fuel57

Eduardo Recife58 Link

Misprinted Type.

Pop Art Showcase - Eduardo Recife59
Pop Art Showcase - Eduardo Recife60

Unknown artist 261 Link

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

Pop Art Showcase - Portfolio62

Mario Wagner Link

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

Richard Mia Link

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 Link

Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo
Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo63
Pop Art Showcase - Brad Yeo

Unknown artist 364 Link

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

Pop Art Showcase - Illustrator65

Unknown artist 466 Link

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

Pop Art Showcase - Collage67

Fabienne Chemin68 Link

Pop Art Showcase - Fabienne Chemin69
Pop Art Showcase - Fabienne Chemin70

Collage Love Blog71 Link

Pop Art Showcase - Collage Love Blog72
Pop Art Showcase - Collage Love Blog73

Sara Fanelli74 Link

Pop Art Showcase - Sara Fanelli75
Pop Art Showcase - Sara Fanelli76

decor877 Link

Pop Art Showcase - decor878

Mari Coan79 Link

Pop Art Showcase - Mari Coan80

Marie C. Cudraz81 Link

Pop Art Showcase - Marie C. Cudraz82

Sean Ryan Cooley Link

Hello My Generation Is…

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

Juan Carlos Federico83 Link

Restatos 1.

Pop Art Showcase - Juan Carlos Federico84
Pop Art Showcase - Juan Carlos Federico85

Thiago Santana Link

Pop Art Showcase - Thiago Santana

Mary Bogdan86 Link

Pop Art Showcase - MarilynMonroe... JackieKennedy87

Futuro Woman88 Link

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 War89

Sleep Tight90 Link

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 Tight91

Some Day A Real Rain Will Come…92 Link

Sclater Street, London.

Pop Art Showcase - Some Day A Real Rain Will Come...93
Pop Art Showcase - Some Day A Real Rain Will Come...94

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

    bravo et merci ! j’adore !

  14. 14

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

  15. 15

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

  16. 16

    Unknown Artist #2 is Sean McCabe

  17. 17

    Moritz Feierabend

    July 21, 2008 6:37 am

    Very nice selection !!

  18. 18

    Lovely art-Big fan of Andy Warhol myself.

  19. 19

    David Hellmann

    July 21, 2008 6:54 am

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

  20. 20

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


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