About The Author

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. When he is not writing or speaking at a conference, he’s most probably running … More about Vitaly Friedman

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.

      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 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