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Pop Art: The First Queer Art Movement

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Diptych, 1962

Pop Art first emerged in 1950s London before taking its roots in France, West Germany, the United States and even the Soviet Union. These were radically figurative and popularly accessible, pop artists were young and controversial.

Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, 1980

Described in 1962 by critic Max Kozloff as “New Vulgarians” and dismissed by abstract artist Mark Rothko as “Popsicles”, Pop artists rejected metaphysical ‘meaning’ in favour of everyday lived ‘reality’.

At a time when the West experienced an acceleration of material excess, Pop artists responded by critically engaging with culture, democracy and identity as affirmed through the individual’s power to consume. If you understood the propagandist language of advertising, you understood Pop Art. To paraphrase René Descartes, “We consume, therefore we are”.

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(Tune in next week right here for more pictures and trivia! )


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