SNAP, CRACKLE AND POP! the Colourful Excesses of Pop Art Will Be Explored in an Exciting New Show Which Aims to Illuminate the New Breed of Emerging Brit Pop Artists, as Dave Owens Discovers
Byline: Dave Owens
IT was the mid-60s when Pop Art exploded like a supernova setting the art world alight with the most vivid of images. Through such iconic work as Sir Peter Blake's Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover artwork, Robert Lichtenstein's much-aped Whaam! fighter pilot painting and Andy Warhol's legendary multi-coloured Marilyn Monroe portraits, Pop Art embedded itself in the wider consciousness to great effect.
The far-reaching aftershock of that initial explosion can still be felt in popular culture - through music, fashion and, of course, the art world. Love him or loathe him Brit art svengali Damien Hirst has latterly brought his particularly outrageous form of Pop Art to the masses with startling effect. Whether it's a dissected cow floating in formaldehyde or his staggeringly expensive bejewelled skull, he's given the most kitsch of art forms a worldwide platform. Now, a new exhibition that opens today at the Off The Wall gallery in Cardiff aims to showcase the new generation of emerging Brit pop artists. Art & Life - Exciting Pop Art Show features impressive and innovative work from the likes of Youngerman, Brian Weavers, Ed Chapman and former Welsh Student Artist of the Year Jason Davies. Also among the new breed is Cardiff artist Glyn Bateman. The 33-year-old former web designer will be showing his striking, socially-aware form of Pop Art. The artist says the inspiration for his work came from an unlikely source. "The ideas for my work developed during the start of the recession in 2008 when I had begun my MA," explains the Cardiff Art School graduate.
"I experienced the bleakness of the empty shop windows in my local village, which were full of whitewash and redundant window graphics and this gave me the idea to experiment with materials used in commercial signage such as vinyl, which became part of the visual language of the work. "Essentially, I wanted to create windows full of my own decals that would reflect upon the world and offer social commentary upon living in 21st century contemporary society. Despite the hardships of the recession, I also wanted to comment upon the corporations who were largely unscathed by it," he adds. "So I have also produced work using more expensive processes, whose features would become part of the work, such as developing large metallic photographic prints and mounting them between perspex and aluminium. "The end results give the work a pristine, high sheen and corporate aesthetic which also ties in to the idea of the excesses of 'boom-time' culture, our emotional ties to products, brands and perfectly produced commodities." The artist has firm views on what exactly Pop Art is. "For me it's any work that affirms, celebrates or criticises popular culture," he states. …