Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pop Art Blogging: Richard Hamilton

Richard Hamilton (1922- ) is a British painter and collage artist. He was educated at the Royal Academy and the Slade School of Art. He is considered to be the originator of the Pop Art style in the 1950s. Hamilton's concept of form was influenced by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson's theories on biomechanics and Marcel Duchamp, a major post-war American art theorist. Hamilton, the intellectual father of Pop, argued that "all art is equal - there was no hierarchy of value. Elvis was to one side of a long line while Picasso was strung out on the other side ... TV is neither less nor more legitimate an influence than, for example, is New York Abstract Expressionism."
Interior (1964-1965). Hamilton presents viewers with a clash between modern and antique furnishings, forming a statement about the unity of all artistic expression.

My Marilyn (1965). A photographer (representing popular culture) objectifies and commodifies starlet Marilyn Monroe by deeming some images of her acceptable, and others not.

Kent State (1970). This is not a photograph of the Kent State shootings, but a photograph of a a television playing coverage of the Kent State shootings. Here Hamilton points out that we do not perceive things, but perceive images of things.

Whenever I mention that I went to grad school at Kent State, every person over the age of 50 immediately speaks about the shootings. They are a dominant icon of life in that era.

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