As far as famous pop artists go, it truly does not get any better than Roy Lichtenstein. His style of comic art use made him one of the most well known and respected pop artists. His work has helped to inspire thousands of artists to hone their craft. His incredible pieces such as the Times Square Mural located in New York’s busiest subway station, as well as his 1986 mural titled Mural with a Blue Brushstroke, are some of his most prominent public murals.
I-Hsuen Chen – Still Life Analysis II – The Island, Taipei, Taiwan
I-Hsuen Chen is a photographer, artist, and filmmaker that was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan but is now based in Brooklyn, New York. As a photographer, Chen is well known for surveying and photographing foreign objects such as garbage as the main subjects of his photographs. In Still Life Analysis II: The Island, I-Hsuen Chen continues his survey of garbage and unfamiliar objects, which started in his first exhibition titled The Still Life Analysis. In both series, Chen concentrates on collections of typical household objects that a homeless person would have beneath the Civic Boulevard.
Zhang Huan – My New York, 2002, Whitney Biennial, New York
Zhang Huan (张洹) is one of China’s best known conceptual and performance artists. In his sculptures and paintings he references the history of his home country. As such, his pieces contain components of political, religious and intellectual messages as well as anonymous portraits and landscapes scenes. Most of his works have mainly been used to promote Chinese culture and to spread a message with the intention of sanitizing the city. In particular, the issue of toilets is very dear to him and it has helped him create one of his most famous performance pieces.
Cai Guo-Qiang – Head On, 2006, 99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall
Berlin, Singapore, New York, Bilbao, and Brisbane are just a few of the locations in the world that have had the pleasure of experiencing Cai Guo-Qiang’s Head On (2006). For his dramatic and impressive installation, Cai who resides in New York chose to fit 99 life-like stuffed wolves into a glass wall. The stuffed wolves appeared to push towards a transparent wall relentlessly crashing with full force against the glass barrier.
In 1980, President Reagan was elected president and Joel Sternfeld had embarked on a road trip across America that would allow him to capture life in America as it was in the 1980s. Having been awarded the Guggenheim grant two years earlier in 1978, Joel’s American Prospects was later to become one of the most revolutionary color photographs of the time, when professional photographers only used the black and white format for official or serious pictures. His photographs from the American Prospects series helped to usher in a new breed of modern photographers, which is why Sternfeld has always been characterized as one of the most influential photographer of his generation.
Pop provocateur Andy Warhol was never a stranger to controversy. In 1964, as part of a series of commissions for the New York State Pavilion, Warhol was commissioned to work on an installation that would be displayed on the face of the pavilion, which was to serve as one of the main venues of the fair.
The theme of the festival was to explore peace through understanding and man’s place in the shrinking and changing world. As such, the fair was supposed to be fun for the whole family. So it came as a surprise when Andy Warhol enlarged mug shots of 13 most wanted criminals photographed by the New York Police Department in 1962. The work caused quite a stir and scandal in the city. A few days after the mural was installed, it was covered up with silver paint a few days before the fair opened to the public as per the decision of the organizers of the show.
Later on, that summer, after the fair had already ended, Warhol produced another set of the same work with the most wanted men as his subjects. He used the same silk screens that he had used for the original mural to form 20 separate smaller scale works that were only recently brought together in 2014 for the first time since Warhol created them.
Art lovers claim that the mural was painted over because 9 of the ten names included were criminals from New York. The governor at that time did not deem it fit to have the mural on the façade of the pavillon building because it was one of the tallest buildings in New York at that time. Additionally, having that kind of publicity would have destroyed the governor’s chances of being re-elected. According to others, a mural of that nature was inappropriate to have at a family-friendly fair.
At the time of his commissioning, Andy Warhol and some of the other artists that had been commissioned including John Chamberlain and James Rosenquist had been leading painters in the Pop Art movement or school; artists of this movement were more formally known as new realists.
The recent exhibition that took place in 2014 sought to concentrate on Warhol’s 13 most wanted men as its main subject addressing how it was created and its destruction. The exhibition also explored the mural’s impact on the art scene through its artistic combination of archival material and documentation.
Andy Warhol’s Thirteen Most Wanted Men installed on the exterior of the New York State Pavilion for the 1964 New York World’s Fair
13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair, Installation view, 2014, Queens Museum, New York
Photo: Peter Dressel
Francesco Jodice – What We Want, Hong Kong, T47, 2006
Ever been to a place and felt that it is not quite satisfactory in terms of how it looks? Well, Francesco Jodice is recreating spaces into what they should be if we had control of them. For a long time, people’s lives were influenced by the buildings that existed but the trend is taking a turn. Not even urban planners, engineers or architects can dictate life upon humanity anymore, this is the message that is being communicated by the ‘What We Want’ series. The project is centered around photography and modification of imagery.