Pop Art, ever since its commencement in the 1960s, has proven to be one of the most lasting movements of American art. Is it a surprise? The bright colors and clean lines of advertisement, the cult of personality built around celebrity, and social issues brought to light by media coverage seem to be more relevant now than ever. TNC Gallery’s POW: Pop Now presents itself as an exhibition of the work of 10 artists as they explore the new frontiers of Pop Art, providing evidence of how this thematic approach, a reaction to mass media, lives in the present day.
The young artists, mostly based in Brooklyn, Washington DC, and Salt Lake City, grew up in an America catering to all their capitalist needs. The bizarreness of consumer culture imagery is not strange to them. Some of the artists themselves work in advertisement and graphic design as a means of steady income, following in the footsteps of Andy Warhol.
But the familiarity of the style of the work allows these multimedia artists to create their own narrative and inject part of the personal into the public. Some of the works are celebratory, others are political, and yet others embrace the bizarre by juxtaposing everyday objects and materials. But these are not Warhols playing with contemporary iconography; they are dealing with the reality having to construct a genuine identity in a culture obsessed with branding, public image, and self promotion.