While pop art began in Britain, it is said to have thrived and prospered in America. There were various reasons that fueled the growth of pop art here. For one, people were more accepting to this form of art. Secondly, artists here were looking for new means of expression that related to popular culture. And thirdly, pop art came to America at the right time.
Counter attack against abstract expressionism
Many believe that the art form emerged as a direct attack on abstract expressionism. It was the time when the latter was gaining popularity, and many artists believed that it lacked necessary art elements. Also abstract art was elitist in nature appealing to only a certain class of people. Pop was popular, relevant and used more figurative elements as compared to abstract art leading to its popularity.
The right time
The art form emerged in America during the 1950s and 1960s. Many believe this to be a critical phase in the world's culture shifts. Mass media of entertainment like television, advertisements, commercials were coming up quickly. Globalization of pop music and youth culture was taking place. People were referring to these instruments of the media, and an art form related to it was timed right.
Unlike abstract art that was limited to canvas or traditional art forms that could not easily be replicated or purchased, the scope of pop art in America was large. It could easily be mass-produced, replicated and reused. It could have been displayed on canvas, but was not limited to it. Street walls, billboard signs, usual and unusual objects could all be worked on independently or brought together to create art. With this infinite scope of what one could do with it, came its popularity.
While many artists joined to work for pop art, there were a few important painters to wave direction to this form of art. This included names of Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg and others. Each of these artists came up with their unique styles of depicting the modern world, and many of these ideas worked. Roy Lichtenstein, for example, used styles inspired by comic strips. Andy Warhol used bright contrasting colors. The work of Jasper Johns and Robert was known to be influenced by Dadaism, a promising art culture that poked fun at high brow art.
Pop art in America flourished during the early years and continues to thrive. Various new arts came up with time. Street art, graffiti style of art and stenciling slowly became popular. Many artists waved from abstract art to the world of pop, which was satisfying, entertaining and most importantly down-to-earth. Even today, exhibitions of pop art are commonly held. Various galleries in New York, Washington DC and other areas continue to display important artwork of pop icons. People continue to be inspired by these works. And new forms of art continue to develop from what the expert hands left us with.