Dadaism And Imagery In Pop Art

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Pop Art c. 1952-1970

Pop art began to emerge in the early 1950s as a result of a booming, capitalist American economy that followed the Second World War. A sense of optimism arose nationwide with new job security, healthy incomes and an absence of military obligations. Post war marriage and baby booms yielded the ‘largest generation in the nations history’. The American dream was born and idealized in the media through advertising. Research undertaken by sociologists into consumer habits and behavior became a marketing strategy and corporations adapted their production by tapping into what was fashionable and desirable among the masses.
The exponentially growing population gave way to a social group that had never before been established in its own right, teenagers. Now that families could afford to give their children a wholesome education, this age group no longer had to spend their days contributing to the family income at work, which left more time and freedom for leisure activities. As adolescents began to follow popular music and culture, the concept of popular culture exploded in America. This in turn is from where the movement of Pop art was derived.
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Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the objet trouvé or ready-made as subject matter and material for his work inspired the use of popular imagery in Pop art. The use of trivial imagery in his work brought art into the every day world and made the every day world into art. In his book Pop Art, Tilman Osterwold declares ‘Dada combined advertising, images and texts, slogans, revolutionary films, assemblages, theatre and performances’ in its art. It was this idea of reality dubbed as art that later inspired Andy Warhol in his Campbell’s Soup

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