What defines pop surrealism?

pop surrealism

What Defines Pop Surrealism?

Pop Surrealism, sometimes called Lowbrow Art, is a movement that gained traction during the latter part of the 1960s for its heavy use of commercial and modern imagery which is enhanced by highly stylized and visually complex art forms that can simply be defined as unique.

From the word itself, surrealism is an integral part of art in a way that it gives an acceptable definition and category for artworks that can only be defined clearly as an interpretation of the creative boundaries of the unconscious and the capacity to dream of human beings.

Specifically, the pop surrealism movement originated in Los Angeles, California and things only got better for the art form as its inspirations from different art styles had propelled the practice to unimaginable heights of popularity and distinction among the masses and from distinguished artists as well.

Some of the notable influences of pop surrealism are underground comix, tiki art culture, and even the hot-rod art style as well. As one would expect from modern forms of art, pop surrealism does not take itself too seriously as well — a theme that is common in categories that fall under contemporary art.

Most pop surrealist artworks can be observed as having a dash of humor in their pieces with notable inspiration from popular characters that can be found in mass media such as television and movies. And from there, the unusual and unnatural style of pop surrealism has only served its admirers for the better.

The term “lowbrow” that was usually attached to pop surrealism is — in the general definition — accepted as meaning that someone or something is not intellectual or possesses very low intelligence. Despite the negative undertones of the word that is related to pop surrealism — something that is commonly branded by critics and sophisticated art “aficionados” — the art form went on to fully embrace the term and translate its essence into a positive theme.

Presently, lowbrow art is defined as art that is seen in mass media, and it has done so primarily because it resonates very well with the people — contrary to the assumptions made by more uptight and rigid art experts. Beginning its cultivation from the ground up, pop surrealism is a style that has been molded by the works created by underground artists that practiced different urban styles such as tattooing and street art to name a few.

Thanks to the efforts made by the pioneering artists that practiced pop surrealism such as Robert Williams and Gary Panter, the naked and raw style of the art form has slowly gained a following among the people. It’s also worth noting that the very first creators to practice pop surrealism were not academically trained in the arts at all and had to rely on self-taught techniques.

This just goes to show that pop surrealism, in a general sense, can be defined as the purest expression of the human experience. Relying on instinct and gut feel alone as its core foundations, pop surrealism transcends the presumptuousness of traditional art by creating a whole new realm of creativity that is accessible to anyone and everyone.

Check out my new Pop Surrealist paintings. 

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