Bold, colourful and culturally relevant, Pop Art is an artistic style that continues to thrive. Pop Art’s history stretches back to the 1950s when it first emerged in the UK following an explosion in post-war consumerism. Most of us associate Pop Art with the comic book-inspired works of Roy Lichtenstein or David Hockney’s paintings of Californian swimming pools. But there are so many more icons to consider – including plenty of modern artists who continue to embrace the movement’s tricks and tropes.
Love the aesthetic, but aren’t sure how to incorporate it successfully into your home décor? Here we take a look at a few fail-safe Pop Art ideas that will instantly add a bit of fun to your space.
If you want your artwork to be easily recognisable by those who walk into your home, collecting pieces by well-known Pop Art icons is always a safe bet.
Andy Warhol’s kaleidoscopic Campbell’s Soup Cans print was one of the first paintings to come out of the Pop Art movement and it’s still a classic today.
For something a little more abstract, take a peek at Peter Blake’s cool and quirky collages. The artist is nicknamed ‘The Godfather of Pop Art’ and his incredibly detailed collages depict scenes, figures and objects associated with popular culture. His epic portfolio of work additionally spans iconic album artwork, oil paintings and eye-catching sculptures. If you know the cover of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band you’ll know Peter Blake.
If your attraction to Pop Art is largely based on its fantastic use of colour, you’ll find no shortage of vibrant ideas for your home.
Keith Haring’s inimitable illustrations and graffiti-style paintings are a great place to start. The artist is easily one of the most prolific of the late 20th century, with his works having mass appeal for their simplicity and positivity. Brightly coloured backgrounds layered with boldly-outlined figures are a signature of Haring’s style. Pick up a print for any room in your home and you’re guaranteed to feel joy when you look at it.
If you’re feeling particularly patriotic, Heath Kane’s colourful prints of a young Queen Elizabeth II are well-worth considering too. The modern artist’s Pop Art inspired works are playful in their nature and reflect Kane’s “insatiable curiosity for oddities and irregularities.”
With so many different artists to choose between, it can sometimes be helpful to base your Pop Art ideas around a certain theme. Thanks to the genre’s focus on popular culture – specifically during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s – many pieces tend to feature some sort of musical element.
Brighton-based artist Mike Edwards has merged Pop Art with typography in his collection of limited-edition art prints. From Debbie Harry to David Bowie, his portraits of some of the greatest names in the music world have been cleverly created with a mix of typed lyrics and song titles.
Alternatively, Mark Petty has managed to add a little dazzle to his musically-influenced screen prints. In When The La La Hits Ya, he overlays diamond dust meticulously by hand over an image of The Sound of Music’s leading lady, Julie Andrews.
Satire was one of the original characteristics of Pop Art – and it’s still evident in many modern depictions of the movement.
Searching for the perfect tongue-in-cheek painting for your home? Turn to shoe designer-turned contemporary Pop Art extraordinaire Gil Carvalho. The Portugal-born artist taps into the movement’s distinct use of bright colours and he even makes reference to other famous artists in his handbag series. Perhaps Carvalho’s most evocative prints are his commonplace fruits and vegetables depicted in neon shades against bold, black backgrounds.
More weird and wonderful Pop Art ideas come courtesy of Agent X. The US-born artist’s works draw on tropes from both Pop Art and Futurism, with almost all of them featuring some kind of political message. Some of Agent X’s art also pays homage to Lichtenstein – check out his collection of colourful multimedia comic book collages, including Brittany Brooks and Desiree Calderon.
Collage crops up again and again in Pop Art, with the originals often being created out of cuttings from glossy magazines. Richard Hamilton, one of the founders of Pop Art, is well-known for incorporating collages into his work. In fact, Hamilton’s most famous piece – Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing – is believed to have given the art movement its name thanks to the presence of a lollipop at its centre.
In more recent decades, Charlie Haydn Taylor has reinvigorated the craft of collage with works like Our Place of Worship and Toil & Sacrifice. Both nod to the pop culture of the past with their use of cut-out 1950s figures, yet they also subtly comment on today’s ever-pressing issues of mental health and capitalism.
One thing is undeniable: Pop Art is a creative movement that’s here to stay. Because of its timelessness and the number of new works being created within its sphere, it’s a brilliant form of art to consider for your home or office space. Why not take a look at our full collection of prints and paintings from some of the biggest names in Pop Art?