Pop Art

Our pop art blogs covering information and stories behind our pop art prints and pop art paintings for sale at Modern Canvas Art

Turn £3 into £1.25 Million in 7 days

Is this an early Andy Warhol pop art sketch?

Is this an early Andy Warhol pop art sketch?

One of the more interesting stories this week told of the Devon man, Andy Fields, who spent £3 on a sketch at a garage sale in Las Vegas, only to be told when he returned home that it could be a genuine drawing created by the renowned pop artist Andy Warhol when he was a young child – aged 10 or 11.

One expert is convinced, but not everyone is. Crucially, the Warhol Authentification Board (yes, there is such a thing) have been unable to authenticate the sketch as there is doubt as to whether it might be genuine. The pencil and graphite drawing was created in the 1930’s and experts believe that (if it is genuine) it could be worth a minimum of £1.25 million, but if a bidding war erupts it could fetch over ten times that amount.

So, exciting times for Mr Fields. And how does he sell this drawing? Unbelievably, he has chosen eBay. Perhaps he has done this because he cannot prove it is genuine and hence none of the auction houses will take it. I am willing to bet he was left more than a little disappointed when the Warhol Authentification Board refused to authenticate the drawing. Had they done so, he would have been sitting on a gold mine. One of the reasons the Board were not that taken by the drawing was the fact that it had been signed “Andy Warhol”. However, Warhol changed to his name to “Andy Warhol” from “Andrew Warhola” in 1949, so you might wonder why he signed it “Andy Warhol” in the 1930s. A simple explanation, claims Fields. He states that Warhol never signed the work at the time, but did so many years later when he gave it away and was asked (as you would) to sign it.

At the time of writing, the piece is up for sale on eBay with a starting bid of £1.25 million. I don’y know about you, but no matter what I am selling on eBay I can get a little excited, even if I am trying to get rid of a chest of drawers or something. If I had this piece up for auction I doubt I’d sleep for a week. Of course, you can’t rule out the crazy bidders and if Fields does sell this to a genuine person paying a genuine sum of money then I would be surprised. I am sure eBay are rubbing their hands with glee and hope that someone out there with more money than he knows what to do with takes a big chance and buys the sketch, knowing that it may not be genuine at all. I wonder how much the eBay fees would be?

Pity the Las Vegas garage seller, whoever he is, and whether he knows anything about the drawing he sold that could turn Fields into a millionaire.

Categories: Art World, Pop Art | Tags:

Ian Dury Retrospective Exhibition – Royal College of Art

Pop Art Painting (1) by Ian Dury

Pop Art Painting (1) by Ian Dury

If you thought that the late Ian Dury was famous for his music, including such celebrated hits such as “Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “What a Waste”, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, “Billericay Dickie” and many more, you might be surprised to learn that Dury was in fact a very talented artist. He painted a large collection of paintings in the 1960s before giving up art to dedicate his career to his other passion, music, whereupon he formed his first band called “Kilburn & The High Roads” in 1971 prior to forming Ian Dury and the Blockheads a few years later.

Now, for the first time ever, Dury’s collection of art is being put on show at the Royal College Art. The new show has been curated by Dury’s daughter, Jemima, who has brought together 30 artworks painted by Dury in the 1960s.

Pop Art Painting (2) by Ian Dury

Pop Art Painting (2) by Ian Dury

Ian Dury studied painting at the Royal College of Art between 1963-1966 and he was particularly interested in the pop art scene. Many of his works were in the pop art style and these have been hidden away for the last 50 years in an old plan chest – until now. Ian was heavily influenced by his close friend, the  artist Sir Peter Blake. It was Blake who encouraged Dury to paint with expression and to use anything he loved as the subject of his artworks. Dury immersed himself in the popular culture of the time and took images from music, film and fashion and fused them with stencils and other media techniques creating bright colourful patterns and imagery. This was a style that was evocative of the 1960s and lives on to this day.

Pop Art Painting (3) by Ian Dury

Pop Art Painting (3) by Ian Dury

Once he graduated from the College, Dury found some success working as a freelance illustrator for The Sunday Times and London Life magazines, shortly before he embarked on his musical career which proved ultimately to be very successful. Dury’s life was turbulent and he endured many ups and downs along the way. He was also partially disabled following the contraction of polio as a young child but it did not hold him back. He was a colourful and controversial character in many ways and this is is reflected in his art that the public is now able to view at the new show.

The show at the College has been funded by Robbie Williams, the record label “Demon Records, the College itself  and also through a fundraising campaign (called “Kickstarter”) which raised over £10,000. It runs from 23rd July to 1st September and admission is free.

You can buy from a large selection of pop art prints at Modern Canvas Art. Take a look now.


Categories: Art World, Music, Pop Art, Subjects | Tags:

Wayne Rooney’s 2011 “Goal of the Season”

Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick v Man City at Old Trafford in February 2011

Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick v Man City at Old Trafford in February 2011

Wayne Rooney’s bicycle kick goal against Man City the season before last was voted best goal of the Premier League in 2011. You can buy this Wayne Rooney pop art canvas print from Modern Canvas Art.

Hundreds of thousand fans from all over the world voted for the award, which was created to celebrate the 20th season of the Premier League. Rooney’s spectacular strike in February 2011 received 26% of the vote. Dennis Bergkamp (19%) was second for his 2002 goal at Newcastle, and Thierry Henry (15%) against Manchester United was third.

Rooney was delighted with the award. “I grew up watching the Premier League so to be voted the best goal in the history of the Premier League is a great feeling,” Rooney said. “There’s so many good goals in that shortlist, goals that I watched in my living room as a kid: Alan Shearer’s goal, Paolo Di Canio’s, Tony Yeboah’s, David Beckham’s. “To be competing with them and winning is a great honour for me and something I’m very proud of. I’d like to say a big thank you to all the fans that voted for me.”

Rooney hailed the derby bicycle kick winner as best goal of his professional career. Rooney had struck in the 77th minute after David Silva’s fortunate equaliser had cancelled out Nani’s first-half opener for United. The England striker said it had been an instinctive finish from Nani’s cross. “I saw it come into the box and thought ‘why not?’, Rooney told Sky Sports. “I was trying to get in a good position for when Nani crossed it. Nine times out of 10 they go over the crossbar. Today it ended up in the top corner. It is instinct. You don’t have time to think about it. Thankfully it finished up in the top corner.” Asked when he had last scored with an overhead kick, Rooney replied: “In school I think. It’s the first one since I started playing professionally.”

Rooney’s strike ensured United bounced back after losing their unbeaten record to Wolves the week before. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Rooney’s winner as the best goal he had seen at Old Trafford. “It was stunning,” he said.

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For those who may not know what a bicycle kick is, it is a physical move made by throwing the body up into the air, making a shearing movement with the legs to get one leg in front of the other without holding on to the ground. The move can either be done backwards or sideways. Performing a bicycle kick can be quite dangerous when performed incorrectly as a player must take care to brace himself with his arms as he lands back on the ground. The difficulty of the move makes it unanticipated and the player runs the potential risk of getting hurt or harming another player. However, as described by BBC Sport, this is one of the acrobatic moves that makes the game much “richer.” The common English name comes from the two legs that look as if they are pedaling a bicycle, with one leg going forward to the ball and the other backward to create an opposite moment. In football it is thought to be so difficult that even Pele has described it has not easy to do. As such, only a few players have been able to perform the move (either as a defensive or offensive play) in an official football match making it one of the most praised plays in the game, especially when a goal is managed to be scored from it.

You may be interested to know that the following strikers have scored more than once from a bicycle kick in a top tier club match or competitive international match:

* David Arellano
* Peter Crouch (yes – Peter Crouch!)
* Klaus Fischer
* Leonidas
* Carlo Parola
* Pele
* Billy Bremner
* Hugo Sanchez
* Ramon Unzaga
* Alejandro Villanueva
* Uwe Seeler
* Wayne Rooney
* Ronaldinho
* Jean-Pierre Papin

Categories: Pop Art, Sport | Tags: , ,

A Brief History of Pop Art in Britain and America

Andy Warhol's famous

Andy Warhol’s famous “Campbell’s Soup” Pop Art

After the Second World War there followed a huge transitional period across Europe and the United States. Major reconstruction was the order of the day across Europe and, slowly, an increasing prosperity and abundance was enjoyed by the populous in these territories. It was the dawn of a new era, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the emerging “consumer” society gave rise to a demand in goods that were simply unobtainable until then.

British pop art can trace its roots back to the mid 1950s. A small independent group comprising notable artists at that time together with critics in the art world put together an exhibition which was held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1956. This exhibition was a focus on the topic of cheap consumer products and the role that they played in modern life. Although it didn’t seem like it then, the exhibition was a major step forward in the art world and a huge departure from what had gone before it. The erstwhile critic, Lawrence Alloway (1926-1992) hailed it as the birth of something new and in 1958 he christened this distinctive style by naming it “Pop Art“, a short form of “popular art”, i.e. art depicting popular culture.

Key figures in the British pop art scene that followed were Richard Hamilton (b. 1922) whose work depicted cars, pin-up models and electric appliances, amongst others. Peter Blake (b. 1932), on the other hand, concentrated on comic strips and pop singers while the magazine collector Eduardo Paolozzi (b. 1924) produced impressive collage prints by recycling and integrating old advertisement material with comic-strip images.

As for the US, during the 1950s the art world was dominated by “Abstract Expressionism”. It was until the early 1960s when art critics and American artists alike began to embrace Pop Art and give this new style of art their own inimitable American “take”. In 1962, an exhibition entitled “New Realists” was held at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York. This was ground-breaking in America, not least because the exhibition featured work from artists including Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929), Jim Dine (b. 1935) and James Rosenquist (b. 1933). Of these, Warhol, Lichtenstein and Oldenburg went on to become key figures on the pop art world. Warhol became a household name.

Indeed, Warhol’s fame elevated in 1962 after his “Campbell’s Soup Cans” work was produced and featured in separate works – firstly as individual “cans” and then the same cans aligned in immaculate rows. Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, possibly the biggest 60s female icons at the time, were also given the “Warhol treatment” in which he silk screened their images, altered the colours and reproduced them in repeated patterns.

Roy Lichtenstein was very much a “comic-strip” artist and produced masses of works using imagery from comics. Starting out in 1960, he painted vastly-inflated images of comic-strip frames formed from the dots of colour newsprint. During the same year, Oldenburg set about carving his own niche in the pop art world, creating large, painted plaster sculptures of sandwiches and cakes ! These were soon followed by huge plastic appliances that were softened to allow them to give a distinctive “droop”. All of it was designed explore the nature of “consumer culture” that was sweeping the nations on both sides of the Atlantic.

With mass consumer commercialism on the rise at an alarming pace (and seemingly with no end in sight) “Pop Art” remains very much alive and is perhaps even more poignant and thought-provoking today as it was even in the mid twentieth century. You can buy from a large variety of pop art prints at Modern Canvas Art.

Categories: Art World, Pop Art | Tags: ,

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