How To Start Collecting Pop Art

Pop Art is a movement that first emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain, and soon spread to America. It represented a radical break with the traditional art world, which younger artists found to be stale and stuffy. The new ideas struck a chord, and the movement flourished worldwide during the 1960s and 70s.

Pop artists took their inspiration from the world around them, including the burgeoning popular music scene, films, and comic books, as well as everyday items such as product packaging and advertisements. It was designed with a young mass audience in mind, and reflected the emerging transient consumerism of the era.

The non-elitist approach of many Pop Artists means that collecting their work is more achievable than acquiring other types of artwork. Of course, very famous pieces by Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein still sell for millions at auction. However, with some research, there are plenty of other amazing artworks at more affordable prices.


Decide what you like

Art is of course highly subjective, so unless you are collecting purely for investment purposes, it’s important to actually buy something that will bring you joy! There are usually plenty of Pop Art exhibitions going on in the UK at various times of the year, so it’s a good idea to really familiarise yourself with the genre before making an investment.

The Tate, which has galleries in London, Liverpool, and St Ives, has a large permanent Pop Art collection. In the Midlands, Wolverhampton Art Gallery has one of the biggest Pop Art collections outside of London. It has pieces by leading artists of the movement, such as Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, Roy Lichtenstein and Richard Hamilton, and many lesser-known artists.

Remember that it is not all about paintings and screen prints; many artists produced sculptures, figurines, installations, textiles, collages, and more. There are also plenty of books and websites where you can learn more about the wider cultural and historical context of the artworks.


Look for editions

Pop Art is often available in limited edition prints, which may have been signed by the artist. As a starting point, you could buy custom prints which are usually sold at affordable prices in gallery shops. Also look out for multiples, replicas, and reproductions.


Confirm the authenticity of the work

Pop Art pieces have often been deliberately produced with a relatively low-cost method, and this means that they can be easy to fake. Therefore, the work should be authenticated by the artist or their estate, and have documented evidence of its history.


Keep an eye out for emerging artists

One of the best and most affordable ways to collect any art is to keep an eye out for up-and-coming artists. Visit the end of year shows for art schools and colleges, go to exhibitions even if you haven’t heard of the artist before, and read cultural press and publications.

Word of mouth is another great way of finding out about upcoming talent, both through online and offline networking.


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Why Innovative Retail Interior Designs Matter

In 2022, retail interior design matters more than ever. As the competition from online sales has soared during the past few years, brick-and-mortar stores have been keen to enhance the customer experience, to make the store a real destination. A major part of this involves creating a unique environment that sets the store apart from the rest of the street.

The window display may have fallen out of fashion with some retailers, but this is where the customer’s first impression will come from, and it should tell the brand story. It doesn’t necessarily need to display the goods on sale; some intriguing items, such as a piece of contemporary resin art, are often more effective.

Design concepts which embody the ethos and tone of the brand are especially important for flagship stores. For example, Lavazza’s flagship store in London is designed to evoke the essence of the Italian lifestyle, where coffee is a part of the culture, rather than the more grab-and-go event it tends to be here in the UK.

The ground floor is designed in the shape of a coffee bean, and the materials incorporate used coffee grounds and brass. Meanwhile, a chandelier that has been painstakingly assembled from 700 coffee beans hangs from the ceiling. The floor has the more leisurely and laid-back feel of continental hospitality.

There is also an interactive feature which allows customers to taste different varieties of coffee, much as a wine seller would offer testing sessions. The whole concept was inspired by Lavazza Museum in Turin, which is dedicated to telling the story of the iconic 128-year-old Italian coffee brand.

Interactive experiences, unique artworks, and local community engagement are all ways that food and luxury goods retailers are enhancing their visitor experience. In the post-pandemic retail environment, it is now imperative to make the in-person shopping trip memorable and unique.

3 Stunning Art And Fashion Collabs

When the words of art and fashion collide, the results can be magical, and are highly sought after as collectors’ items. There is a long history of artists and fashion designers blurring the boundaries between these two glamorous worlds. Here’s a look at some of the most outstanding examples from recent decades.


Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who has earned the nickname ‘princess of polka dots.’ She works across a variety of media, from paintings, sculptures, and performance art and installations. She first came to prominence in the 1960s after attending art school in New York, and has worked prodigiously ever since.

Whatever the media, her work always has a polka dot theme, so it was no surprise that her collaboration with Louis Vuitton in 2012 featured a range of dotty fashion wear, including bags, clothing, and accessories. The Infinity Dots collection has a striking red and white palette.

Kusama said that her work is inspired by a childhood hallucination she had in a field of flowers. She says: ‘Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos. Polka dots are a way to infinity. When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environment’.


Damien Hirst and Alexander McQueen

Hirst was known in the 1990s as the bad boy of the Brit Art scene, due to his uncompromising representations of life and death. This seems to make him an unlikely choice for a fashion crossover artist, but this is what happened in 2013 when he teamed up with the iconic British fashion brand Alexander McQueen.

The result was a range of scarf designs with skull and butterfly motifs, arranged in geometric patterns. Hirst said that his inspiration for the designs was Dante’s Inferno, and it led to 30 designs which were adapted from his Entomology series. The kaleidoscopic patterns feature spiders, butterflies, and other insects arranged in symmetrical patterns.

The scarves were made in chiffon, pongé, twill and cashmere, and are highly collectable items today.


Yoshitomo Nara and Stella McCartney

For her spring/summer 2021 collection, British designer Stella McCartney teamed up with the acclaimed Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara to create a genderless capsule wardrobe. The artist’s trademark mash up of cute anime drawings and punk attitude featured on a range of unisex clothing and accessories, including outsized sweaters and tote bags.

Nara’s work has always crossed cultural boundaries, and his designs have featured on the album sleeves of bands such as REM, Shonen Knife, and Bloodthirsty Butchers. He said that the punk rock music he grew up listening to has influenced his art.

Stella McCartney is one of the world’s most successful fashion designers of recent decades, and she has collaborated with a series of leading international artists, including Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons and Olafur Eliasson. Her designs are known for combining wearable pieces with high concept ideas.


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