Contemporary and Pop Art – A Quick Lesson

Contemporary and Pop Art – A Quick Lesson


 New York Loan Company is most commonly known for its high dollar pawn loans against high-end jewelry and upscale watches, but we also make loans against contemporary art, particularly Pop Art.

“Pop-Art”, which stems from the abbreviation of ‘Popular Art’, is an art movement that started in England in the 1950s and traveled to the US in the 1960s. Artists in this movement drew on popular imagery and commonplace items, and often presented with a combination of satire, humor and criticism. Most often these artists used subjects derived from advertising, product packaging, celebrities and comic strips; Pop art was one of the first ways that popular culture elevated to the level of fine art.

The early 1960s in America was a period of consumerism that had never been seen before, and pop-art become a form of social commentary. Artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Ed Ruscha used a variety of mediums and forms of media to create works of art that would have instant meaning to the observer. Artists used images and icons that were quick and easy to recognize, often with bright contrasting color schemes.

Lichtenstein most notably developed his art inspiration from comic books. His hand drawn use of Ben-Day dots, and drawing only a single panel instead of a full strip, was reimagining comics in an entirely new way. Lichtenstein blurred the distinction between mass reproduction and fine art. Edward Ruscha, best known for his “liquid word paintings”, was an artist in southern California who was strongly influenced by Hollywood and the west. He often used rhymes and phrases that he enjoyed, and used common everyday logos in his works.

Andy Warhol, the leading figure in the visual art movement, was a successful commercial Illustrator before achieving worldwide fame. Warhol encompassed the use of many forms of media, including hand drawing, painting, silk screening, lithographs, printmaking and even film and music. His subject matter varied widely throughout his career, though he is most famous for his use of vivid colors in portraits of celebrities, and mass consumer culture. Andy Warhol helped create a national phenomenon that is still admired and prized to this day.

New York Loan Company not only makes pawn loans against these heavily influential artists, but also other important artists that came before and after the pop-art movement. Artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns that paved the way for the 1960’s movement and show no signs of decreasing in value or importance. Since the Visual Art Movement, other artists have taken similar themes of consumerism and culture, and translated it into a modern terms. Important artists such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat; and more currently, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons are also favorites of the Pawn Shop to the Stars.

When selling or pawning an important work of art, it’s imperative that you are working with someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in the contemporary art market. New York Loan is prepared to answer your questions and meet any of your loaning needs.