Pop Culture (2)

Continuing the previous post, in which I reminisced my fashion life in 2007 when I lived in Singapore, here I will try to point out why on earth did I think the images in the previous post would relate to the pop culture in the 50s-60s.

So, I wrote:


  • Started in UK in the 1950s.
  • Pop art artists help make theatre to be a social, not elite, work of art.
  • Pop art in the USA was against abstract expressionism.
  • Pop art was contradictory, where people say “I’m criticizing and pointing out the negative sides of this work, but I actually like this work, but I’m thrashing it down by saying bad things about it”.
  • Pop art was a parody to abstract expressionism.
  • Pop art used existing photos and/or materials to make another work of art.


  • Repetition (repeating the same work, repeating the elements in the work, etc.
  • Surface/2D

Basically, the pop culture was a critic against a society where people regarded art as something elite, something unique, something that can never be reproduced. Art was regarded as something that is born only, and only, from the artist himself, without the use of resources from other people.

But guess what? Artists emerged to do the exact opposite of such things during that time.

Richard Hamilton, “Just what is it that makes today’s home so different, so appealing?” (1956)

Collage: a technique where you cut out things and stick them together. Morale of this work? You can make an artwork by making a collage of things from other people.

Space exploration (the surface of the moon was the celebrity of the ceiling of Hamilton’s “Just..” work) inspired the pop culture in terms of that technology and information is not limited to a group of people. The emergence of wide use of radios and televisions means that nothing is limited to only a certain kind of people. Everyone has the same right to access technology and information. In other words, that can mean that everyone has the same right to access art.

Now now, we have gone far from our fashion article, written by me, someone who only likes fashion, with no passion for it.

Let’s see my class notes again. Repetition. 2D. Aha!

Brillo boxes by Andy Warhol

Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol

The repetition technique used by the artists of this time could be represented either by reproducing the work itself (stacks of Brillo boxes) or by reproducing the elements in the work and combining them as a same work (Marilyn Monroe prints).

And the colors used by the artists mostly came from primary and secondary colors. The reproduction technique commonly used in this era was screen-printing. Having done initiation to screen-printing last autumn, I assure you that it was already hard work applying normal paint colors to the screen, let alone having to mix the colors to produce the color we want. When we want to repeat our work, it would be very complicated to try to produce the same color, which is why artists stick to easy colors (which were mostly bold colors).

Black and white stripes! Bold and repetitive.

The mini dresses worn during this era would be… Hmm, how do I explain it…

Skirts keep getting shorter, especially since the flappers era in the 1920s where midi was introduced. Women always had the need to liberate themselves, including their body. So, from toe-length to knee-length (to now ass-length, pardon my language), the pop culture enjoyed the era where they could dress themselves how they would want it.

And in the next post, we get to the part where young adults went rebellious, where the hippies reigned, where students demonstrated against the Vietnam War (following the absurd participation of the powerful blocs into the Korean War), and where the Rolling Stones and The Beatles became a legendary symbol, even until now.

Until then!


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