The fine-line that separated art from commercialism was blurred by two grand masters; Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. There was something rather innocuous about the way they commercialized art, taking it to the hungry masses. While their body of work never tried to be anything but mainstream or populist, many tried to deny the cleverness of their artistic style.
Time has been kind to the body of work these 2 leading pop artists produced, far kinder than to their reputations, or at least Warhol’s. Since Pop Art's hey day, artists and art theorists have rabidly debated the validity of using new medias and technologies in art.
The world of graphic art and Corporate ID has, for all intents and purposes, swallowed the aesthetics of art, wholesale. The mass integration of new technologies into the realm of art has led some to reject beauty and the aesthetic outright, while others have embraced multimedia as a natural alternative to the paintbrush.
London’s EB & Flow gallery and the Hyperspace gallery in Poland will feature 2 distinct exhibitions this month that could not more polarized in style and message. Ordered Decay offers a unique opportunity to ponder “detritus and decay”, while Hyperspace feels more like an unabashed celebration of consumerism that marries beautiful winter landscapes with auto parts.
Despite the differences in tone, content in execution, both exhibitions feel rather apropos for the times. Both manage to raise some of the basic questions that Warhol and Lichtenstein raised about beauty, style and commercialism. Is it art? Yes, probably.
Daniel Gomez is a brand strategist at Mijo! Brands in Mexico.