When you think of Pop Art, what comes to mind? Is it Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can, perhaps a Roy Lichtenstein comic inspired piece? What is pop art? Search the internet and you’ll find this definition: Art based on modern popular culture and the mass media, especially as a critical or ironic comment on traditional fine art values. What actually fits into the genre may be up to the eye of the beholder. On the last weekend of September, there was an interesting collection to behold at the Barker Hangar in the Santa Monica airport. The inaugural Pop Art Show presented by Limited Runs, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the T.J. Martell Foundation, opened on Thursday, September 27th and runs through Sunday, September 30th.
Photography and artwork from several different categories were on display in a clean and nicely displayed cavern of an old airplane hangar. Gracing the partition walls are works from classic movie posters, to night time urban landscapes, to iconic rock n’ roll stages, portrait and candid photography. If you are an entertainment fan, this show had something sure to pique your interest.
On hand for opening night as emissaries of their art were several of the artists whose work is featured. Connie Conway, Los Angeles nightscape photographer represented her photos of iconic L.A. landmarks. Dennis Morris exhibited his photos of Bob Marley and Sex Pistols among others. Glen Wexler, digital photo-compositor, proxied his surreal yet realistic looking pieces. Neil Zlozower showcased his images of legendary rock bands. Also in attendance was Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, who created an approximately 12′ x 7′ black and white mural as attendees watched. At its completion, he invited show goers throughout the weekend to color in the piece, creating a community artwork.
There were old style, hand worked movie posters from 50’s B-movie horror flicks. Exhibits also included an extensive array of James Bond movie posters. For car enthusiasts as well as nostalgia fans, there was a group of concept car art from the 40’s through the 70’s. A large collection of the late Len Steckler’s work for Vogue and Cosmopolitan in the 50’s and 60’s was an impressive sight. Included in this assemblage are some never before seen photos of some of the most recognized faces of the era.
Whether a visual trip into your childhood and adolescence, or perhaps providing the younger generation a glimpse of what the world of media looked like 30-60 years ago, the Pop Art show is a passport to that destination. The good news is, if you really enjoy the trip, you can bring home a souvenir and own a piece of the historic first exhibit. All the work is for sale and you may even meet the artists themselves in the process.
CLICK HERE to view more pics from the show.