The Origins Of British Pop Art

One of the most fascinating artistic movements in both the UK and US over the past 70 years has been the evolution of pop art, and the bright colours and unique styles shaped by collage, sculptor and resin artists alike.

Both the British and American pop art movements developed in very different ways; although both started in the 1950s and focus greatly on pop culture imagery, they each interpret it in very different ways.

British pop art focused on the effects of American pop culture when viewed from a distance and was much closer to the previous avant-garde Dadaism movement of the late 1920s and 1920s.

Dada was a movement that emerged after the outbreak of the First World War that was cynical, satirical and often nonsensical, protesting the ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ of the society that led people into a war to end all wars.

Pop art came from a similar place, particularly in terms of its postmodern ideology and exploration of mass culture, propaganda, a rejection of aesthetic norms and the world after an even more destructive Second World War.

One of the earliest examples of pop art in the form we most commonly associate is ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’ by Richard Hamilton in 1956.

An ironic collage of a range of mass media artefacts of the era, it highlighted a common style used for pop art that explored the implications of pop culture imagery, particularly in the form of American mass advertising, which had by this point borrowed many elements from modern art.

The early British pop art movement was led by the Independent Group, consisting of artists such as William Turnbull, Richard Hamilton and John McHale and highlighted the different approaches their pop art took from modernist art at the time, and even from the later evolution of American pop art.

They embraced the commercialised nature of pop culture rather than adopting the modernist rejection of it or the American pop art scene’s boldness and aggression, leading to a more satirical, humourous and ironic artistic movement.

5 Questions with the Creator of Artbag

Meet local Artist and Mother of ARTBAG; known to her art students as Debra Franses. She is gaining recognition for her highly desirable Resin Handbag sculptures in the UK and throughout Buckinghamshire.  Now represented by Clarendon Fine Art with Galleries in Marlow, Beaconsfield, Windsor and nationwide; you can also meet her in person at her studio showroom in Old Amersham High Street.

  1. What is ARTBAG? A giant resin handbag selfie! A transparent Sculpture in Resin shaped like a Handbag  - A portrait of things and people we love full of memories and objects that hold value to us for a myriad of reasons. A baby’s first shoe, a ring, a poem, postcard, badge, ticket to a Bowie concert , a favourite lipstick, a perfume or sunglasses, old watch of a beloved relative, toy car, Lego and so on…all of this encased in a transparent handbag, preserved forever. Perfect for a mother’s day present!
  2. But why a handbag? We are what we carry, literally our beautiful baggage. There is actually something called 'handbagology' by Karen Pine, a Psychology Professor. You may have seen the recent exhibition at the V&A on “Handbags inside out” where the curators explored themes such as handbags as Status symbols, Celebrity worship, believing a bag is an ‘investment’, Identity and Feeling fat? The bag always fits…!
  3. What is it made from? Resin, It looks like glass because it’s perfectly transparent. I love the idea of letting the light come in and revealing what is usually hidden. I also use 22 ct gold plated barbed wire to represent the gilded cage some women may find themselves in as they give up careers for motherhood’s demands.
  4. What gave you the idea to put things inside? I like to play with the memories an object can Its so personal, intimate and individual. My mum is always passing on objects she has collected from my family and each one tells a story. When we lose our memories, we lose our identity. I love how objects hold nostalgic pleasures for the whole family.
  5. Best piece of advice?

Do what you love, do it well and with passion and your audience will find you from my CSM tutor in 2004. Also, my friend from NYC Platon said to me in 2008 it takes a good 15 years to become an overnight success!





The Little Red Bag!

I honestly had no idea how many bags I made with red in them until I took a look at this edit…I love the colour red!

The lipstick, the nails, the bright scarf, the tacky shoes my father hated, Dorothy’s red slippers, and Christmas! Santa…the bringer of gifts happiness and imagination.

Still let’s support small independent businesses and makers with this little edit from £35 and up!

Lucky Artbag
This beautiful fun Artbag was a culmination of days spent hauling my toddler around New York City in 2008. Days filled with treats, Disney, toy cars, and so much fun just being in the city. I certainly felt like the luckiest mum alive.

The collaboration with What’s His Name has been growing in popularity the iconic Doggie bags are based on the large sculptures recently displayed in Covent Garden and the collaborative friendship continues to grow momentum with Sebastian Burdon pictured below.

The collaborations with LA artist Betsy Enzenburger are all sold out however collectors get excited …more are coming soon!

Keychain Artbags
The Keychain artbags are for display or wearing, hang them off your jeans, your favorite handbag or in a key hook with your spare key…there are 2 shades of red, one solid and one transparent…then, of course, there is the miniature manbag a replica LV briefcase….the miniature of the James bond full-size bag…
why not get the pair of his and hers? Beautifully gift wrapped, this is a great gift for your favourite couple…or for you and him or her !!

These Small artbags are all ON SALE snd sit 13 cm tall and 10 cm wide 3 cm deep and are beautiful ornaments. Each one has a different finish and they are a steal now in my Xmas sale!

Small Artbags
These Small artbags sit 13 cm tall and 10 cm wide 3 cm deep and are beautiful ornaments. Each one has a different finish and they are a steal now in my Xmas sale!
Passion, Lady Mcbeth, and Lipstick Red…if you are a fan of this firey colour then this could be your lucky day!