Pop Life – Art in a Material World

It wasn’t long and certainly won’t be the last time that Pop Art is revisited, much less in the Tate Modern, but it’s often always a winner in many aspects. When Pop Art presents itself it draws a whole host towards it, and also to the Tate modern in equal measure and Pop Life -Art in a Material world, is by no means an exception.

As a movement, as a genre we’re often aware of how serious Pop Art takes itself. Stripping down and distilling the facades and complexities of mass media and reforming it into several singular brands for each artist. We know an Andy Warhol, we know a Damien Hirst and a Koons. We know them all as a brand.

But for those that don’t buy into the brand, Pop Life is the exhibit that gives Pop Art that much needed weight and depth, grounding it for those who refused to believe it couldn’t be grounded. The curators have focused on pulling periods of authenticity, giving each artist – ANDY WARHOL, JEFF KOONS, TAKASHI MURAKAMI, TRACEY EMIN and DAMIEN HIRST – their own gallery space. And much unlike many previous exhibitions, Pop Life offers that strand of understanding and transition of how Pop Art made it from the 60s till now.

Unfortunately, despite the effigies dedicated to the greats such as Warhol and Hirst when it comes to pop art, other artists in the exhibition proved to be too far out to be taken seriously. Whilst some had conceived Warhol’s art as pertaining more of a ‘shock factor’, Warhol understood that his work had to be nothing less than ‘visually compelling’. Not crass and heavy handed.

Still, it’s an exhibit well worth visiting and though it doesn’t give an end and justified means to the story of Pop Life, it is nevertheless telling a very convincing story.

JEFF KOONS

KEITH HARING The Pop Shop

SARAH LUCAS AND TRACEY EMIN The Shop

DAMIEN HIRST Aurothioglucose, 2008

ANDY WARHOL David Hockney

DAMIEN HIRST Ingo, Torsten Installation at ‘Unfair

The Pop Life – Art in a Material World Exhibit runs until Sunday, 17 January 2010

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