British Pop Artists
Peter Blake (born 1932) is an English pop artist. He is best known for his depiction of popular culture un a naive style.
Blake used a variety of techniques, including collage, oil painting, photography and drawing. His work counter the thesis that Pop art was the result of a critical or merely ironic attitude to popular culture as spread by the mass media. Blake shows his attachment to the content of the mid-twentieth century popular culture, he feels no necessity to subscribe to the pictorial forms it employs. Blake uses photographs as a starting point, he spontaneously reintroduces a sensuality of touch in his paintings that is completely alien among other Pop artists.
The picture on the left, called "On the Balcony", indicates the artist's sole sources of inspiration and sole obsession. Whether he juxtaposes photographs of 'idols' with broad strips of colour, lovingly reconstructs a toy-shop window, combines a realistic portrait of a music-hall or circus star or all-in wrestling champion with an assortment of small objects to complete the significance of the icon, Blake seems much less anxious to define a style attuned to his private obsessions than to extend them and celebrate their themes.
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Richard Hamilton (born 1922) is an English painter and collage artist.
The collage Just What Is It That Makes Today's Home So Different, So Appealing? (the picture on the left), executed in 1956, can already be seen as a summing-up of Pop culture. Usually, in fact, he proceeds by accumulating information and techniques. In his work Hamilton is using technical accumulations such as oil-paint, photo-collage and metal, oil-painting and silk-screen, or spraying coloured inks on to a photograph with an air-brush.
Hamilton's attachment to a multiplicity of sources and procedures seems to point to a desire for effacement with regard to the subject which is also considered as a method of recognizing the relativity of view-points. All this may well conceal a fundamentally romantic view, already discernible in the caressing delicacy of the curves and
touches of colour in Hommage a Chrysler Corp. (right), which comes to a climax in a work such rare freshness as Soft Pink Landscape (left).
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