Pop art – a theme of yesterday in today

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That’s right. We are talking about the famous movement through the mid-1950s that formed a form of art we love even today. POP ART.

Characterized to be illustrated, bright and loud, they soon found the entry in places else as well. Interiors were one such field where the POP culture caught on like wildfire.

Pop art – instantly recognisable, irreverent, never muted and rarely tasteful ­– was the overriding design and artistic trend of the late 1950s and 1960s. It was a style that both celebrated and interrogated mass – ‘popular’ – culture, making use of modern materials, bright, often clashing colours, newsprint and disposable imagery, space-age shapes interspersed with folk and decorative art elements.

It’s this edge that keeps Pop fresh and relevant, keeps it a clever way to introduce a bit of slick irreverence into a home to stop it becoming too formal. There are five classic ways to create a Pop Art interior… but in the end, they boil down to one.

Where would we have been without yellows, oranges and lime green? Hot pinks were a special favourite too, a colour that can never be ignored. Fluorescents and clashing colours make a vivid statement in an interior, whether you add a ‘pop’ (THAT WORD NOW AGAIN) of colour – using a splashback in a kitchen or cartoonish painting in a minimalist living room interior – or go full on colour, we have done our part of POP here.

Pop Art is defiantly a small group’s ‘good taste’, the creeping beigeness that can make homes dull and uniform unless a hand is taken. Even if you are renting and can’t change the magnolia décor, something unexpected and jarring can add life to a room. Add a bit of everything. The artefacts of bright and beautiful hautes or fabrics of strident colours or even a bit of patterns if you would want to so. POP is what we make it. Ain’t it?

Any material as long as it’s not polished wood could be the mantra of Pop Art designers. Curved, ergonomic and space-age furniture become the norm, designed for bodies rather than the other way round. Plastic and leather featured heavily, and it hugged the floor (even if hung from the ceiling) – intimate, relaxed, determinedly informal, for lounging not sitting primly. It created a huge upheaval in furniture design and pieces by the likes of Eero Aarnio, Verner Panton and Terence Conran became instant classics. PHEW, THAT WAS A LOT!!

Oh wait! Add a little vintage too please? A swinger from the 60s would be Killer!

From wry looks to pulp fiction blown-up cartoons and recreations of pin-up girls, pop was wry, irreverent and funny. Make a statement with a satirical poster – and in a true pop style, when bored of it, buy another. Dark or Light, Let’s add Humour as you would want. After all, One’s sense of Humour could be a neede Army 😉

Ultimately, what makes something ‘pop’ is as much about attitude as anything else. It says, ‘you know, people might expect me to paint my 1800s corniced ceiling in a muted, era-appropriate shade, but I’m going to paint it gold because it’s clever, sly and so wrong its right’. It’s the same attitude that says, ‘I’ll do my bathroom out in the most hotel-ish of white and grey marble and then have a huge kitsch poster of a naked woman’ because it makes me think about what this space is really for’. In fact, Pop Art isn’t really about cartoons and plastic at all (though colour remains important as pop is never polite and beige) – it’s about jolting people and making them see the familiar in a different, slightly subversive light. So go on, paint your bed pink and orange and have a huge ‘boom!’ mural in the kitchen if it makes you happy. Warhol would have been impressed.

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