Pop art was created in the 1960s and 1970s as a reaction to the subjective way of working of the abstract expressionists. Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol were looking for an impersonal style, for example by using the visual language of commercial art and other mass media, as well as adopting the subject matter of such art. By taking products from popular culture as their subject, these artists wanted to make art less elitist and accessible to a wider audience.
The best-known pop artists have now become institutionalized and succeed in attracting a large audience to art. Though no longer as shocking as in the 1960s, the themes continue to inspire contemporary artists in their work. In this exhibition we display four artists who, in their use of materials, themes and messages, adopt the tradition of pop art.
Jackson Bowley calls himself a beauty photographer. His photographs play with the aesthetics of advertising photos, such as those for facial care products. But Jackson uses make-up as a means of styling, rather than hiding, the specific characteristics of his subjects, who are to be found in his London group of friends made up of exceptional figures such as musicians and artists. His approach is playful and energetic. By adding a physical texture to digital images, he creates a highly original art form that is somewhere between photography, collage and painting.
Lieselot Elzinga is a fashion designer and explores other media from there. Her fashion shows resemble performances. When she presents her work, she changes the space with the help of murals and objects into room-filling installations. With her own band she brings her clothes to life. Her designs are a cross between commercial products and autonomous works of art.
Dagmar Stap uses various embroidery techniques to create sculptures of packaging. In her latest series she focuses on waste, such as a torn tax bill, lighters, a can of red bull and receipts. Her labour-intensive sculptures contrast sharply with the way in which her subjects are produced and also discarded. In her work Dagmar continuously plays with definitions of the precious and the worthless, of waste and art.
Floor van het Nederend makes drawings of deserted landscapes with absurd inhabitants such as his self-invented figure Malvin the Cat. He works in a dark style reminiscent of underground comics and punk flyers. His drawings teach you to consider comic strips as art. By also illustrating for newspapers and designing his own clothing line, he explores the difference between commerce and art.