Keiichi Tanaami is a seminal figure in Japanese Pop art. “Most of my expressions are based on my actual experiences,” he has said. “The countless amount of stimulative experiences, happenings and encounters…they become the keywords of my expressions.”
Best known for his cartoonish and colorful paintings that blend dream figures and references to childhood experiences with pop culture iconography, Tanaami has also worked in video, animation, as well as graphic design and commercial illustration, drawing profound influence from the work of Andy Warhol.
California based filmmaker and a digital collage artistEugenia Loli uses photography scanned from vintage magazines and science publications to create bizarre visual narratives that borrow from aspects of pop art, dada, and traditional surrealism.
Loli was born in Athens, grew up in the Northwest of Greece near the city of Preveza, and lived for a while in a small village in the mountains. She then moved to Braunschweig, Germany, and subsequently Surrey, England, before moving to the California Bay Area. While growing up in Greece, she liked to draw a lot, but because of the lack of economic opportunities, she decided to cast aside her aspirations of becoming an artist and decided to go into the tech field. She studied computer programming, which in turn led to a life in blogging, animation, and eventually, filmmaking and digital collage.
Prague, Czech Republic based Romanian artist Ion Barladeanu spent most of his years in the 60’s living on the outskirts of society, depending on other men’s trash and surviving cold nights behind garbage bins. In his spare time, Ion would create amazing pieces that can be described as a mix of Pop art, Surrealism and Dadaism. The hermit-like artist had always kept his work under wraps for a number of reasons. Firstly, he had no one in particular to show it to, and secondly, its often biting political nature meant that while the communist regime held sway in Romania, it had to remain clandestine.
Today we can all enjoy his pieces. Barladeanu sees his works as miniature movies, the act of assembling clipped-out artwork on hand-painted backgrounds akin to the roles of screenwriter and director. While many of his works are infused with comedy or light-hearted satire, others are the stuff of subversive film noir.
Tom Eglington is a self-taught artist and writer. He has developed an illustration style that combines elements of vintage Japanese prints, 70s sci-fi, outsider art, comics and collage. From William Burroughs to Jack Kirby via Henry Darger, his work channels a bizarre fantasy world of occult symbols, lowbrow pop art and hallucinatory visuals.
New York-based painter David Humphrey works on paper and sculptures defy categorization. He emerged as an artist in the late 1970s along with Postmodernism, an approach that continues to inform his heterogeneous compositions, visual pastiches that, in his words, “erase the breaks” between divergent styles.
In his paintings, this grammar includes gestural abstraction, cartoonish figuration, Pop Art, Surrealism, and Expressionism. His vibrant compositions feature human figures, narrative vignettes, animals, and objects interwoven into abstract passages.
Sigmar Polke was a German painter and photographer who experimented with a wide range of styles, subject matters and materials. In the 1970s, he concentrated on photography, returning to paint in the 1980s, when he produced abstract works created by chance through chemical reactions between paint and other products.
Polke launched Capitalist Realism in response to Pop art, exhibiting the first works in this genre in Düsseldorf. Polke took as his motifs such ordinary food items as chocolate, sausages or biscuits, isolating them and apparently depriving them of their tactility in order to elevate them to the status of aesthetic signs.
Nan Lawson is a self-taught illustrator from California. Nan enjoys drawing quirky and nerdy things and characters, which are often inspired by hipsters, cult television shows, and flea markets.
Featuring a range of Wes Anderson’s characters, popular figures from fandoms such as Star Wars, Game of Thrones, X-Files and Harry Potter, Lawson’s artwork mimics cartoon characters from Japanese culture.
Memphis based artist Josh Breeden, aka “St Francis Elevator Ride”, works in a variety of mediums, digital and hand-drawn, including collage, print and web media. He makes chaotic assemblages that mash-up sexy vintage images with a Pop art aesthetic that are both minimal and psychedelic.
His eccentric, multi-layered creations are often inspired by the interpersonal relationships between himself and those closest to him. His work explores themes of love, sex, visceral emotions, delusion and the struggles in balancing and maintaining intimacy.
San Francisco-based painter Peter Saul is one of the forefathers of Pop Art. Known for his aggressive and colorful cartoonish paintings satirizing American culture’s early use of pop-culture cartoon references in the late 1950s and early 1960s has earned him the title of a Pop Art founding father, and to date, he has realized over 800 paintings throughout his career.
“Bad things make me laugh just as often as good things which is the wrong attitude. But my excuse is this has been my art style for over 55 years, so I get to keep doing it.”
We are going to call munter on this Hypebeast phrase… “When Japanese pop art meets American pop music, very creative things transpire.” This isn’t really creative per se, more just a big WTF? Takashi Murakami art directing Britney Spears for POP Magazine has us speechless.