Pop Art: An eye-popping style

Selena Cortez's painted her project to emulate a fashion magazine. She was daunted by the style at first but ended with a project she liked along with her friends. Cortez said

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Selena Cortez's painted her project to emulate a fashion magazine. She was daunted by the style at first but ended with a project she liked along with her friends. Cortez said "I wish I got pictures of all my friends pop art pictures they are amazing."

Pop art is an art style that emerged in the 1950’s and is largely based off of common commercial and pop culture. According to Plus One Gallery, pop artists painted with emotional detachment and injected irony and wit into their paintings. This is atypical for the time because many artists were still focusing on expression and WWII era artistry, however the style was well received and boomed in the 1960’s.

Megan Lisenby’s (Faculty) second level art class has largely focused on learning and mimicking older art styles throughout the year and their most recent large-scale project was to paint a self portrait in pop art style. Students were excited and worked hard on the project, with some making their portraits into entire spreads like one would see in a magazine or commercial.

Selena Cortez (12) was one of these students. She began with only a picture and decided she was going to draw inspiration from eccentric makeup magazine spreads. Despite initial worry, she now has a project she is proud of.

Lisenby said, “I believe that my students took the project very creatively, and that they were able to express themselves a little bit better than they maybe would have been able to with realism.”

She assigned the project because she believed that it would help students be more comfortable, and said that, “I picked it so that they could be more creative and wouldn’t be as daunted with something realistic.”

Students took care with the project, often changing colors for skin tones, shading and tint, and other aesthetics. Because of the number of students who worked as hard on the project, Lisenby actually ended up giving grace periods and extended the project well past the due date.

One student, Hilani Marion (11) approached the style with more simplicity but put her own style into the project.

Marion said, “I didn’t want it to not be me. But I also wanted to include something I really liked: Steven Universe star eyes.”

Making the project her own, Hilani Marion (11) draws inspiration from the show Steven Universe. This gave ideas for the starry eyes and influenced the style of the painting. Marion said “The project taught me that I don’t always have to be so complex in art. That things can still be basic and pretty.’

The pop art project was one of the more complex that Lisenby’s class has taken on; students had to take on a new style and had to mix colors to create their own skin tones. Despite the challenge, students worked and stylized their pop art portraits. Lisenby said, “Overall they pulled off the style and did very well.”