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05 June 2020

Trends We Love: Pop Art Paintings

Anna Harvey

1950s icon, Marilyn Monroe, would have celebrated her 94th birthday on Monday, if she hadn’t fallen victim to the stifling pressures of celebrity and fame. Marilyn’s face was so ubiquitous in the 50s and 60s that she additionally became the face of pop art, gracing Andy Warhol’s diptych in 1962. From its saturated beginnings, pop art was always intended to amuse, entertain and brighten, using parody to dilute the intimate symbolism of abstract expressionism. 



Pop artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns and Keith Haring used mundane imagery, celebrities and repetitive motifs to emotionally detach themselves from the almost religious following of mass and pop culture. So before you roll your eyes at the simplicity of a Warhol silkscreen print and claim you could do it with your eyes closed (you couldn’t), just remember this; this art movement’s intentions are bloody philosophical.

Here’s how to make your interior pop:

Pop art Pin-up

That trademark raven fringe and azure eyes glistening under fluttering lashes; Bettie Page was so much more than a sex symbol. Did you know that she influenced some of the most famous lingerie brands in the world with her homemade underwear? Page normalised the bikini and continues to inspire cultural icons of today like Beyoncé, Madonna and Rihanna. 


We Recommend: Mix and match décor styles. If you choose a vibrant pop art piece like Cavalli’s, it can be tempting to display it in a minimalist setting to ‘balance out’ the bold hues with a low-key palette. We, however, suggest you display your pop masterpiece with unexpected textures, like these regal velours and velvety marine blues by interior designer, Daniele Marian.

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Emiliano Cavalli, Bettie Page

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One of my favourite artistic movements is pop art due to the strong, energetic and expressive colours used. I also love the exploration of the celebrity muse like Madonna, as it really adds pop culture magic to my rooms.’

- Daniele Marian, Interior Designer

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Itala Gasparini, Alhambra

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Itala Gasparini’s sharp artwork captures the heat that radiates off the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Gasparini perfectly portrays the sinuous curves and acute angles that make up one of the country’s most significant Islamic architectures. 


We Recommend: Continue to explore these angular contrasts with other items of decoration and furniture in your room. Try including a geometric-patterned rug and a rounded table to play with a visually vibrant and cohesive, because after all, pop art is all about play. 



For my interior, I really like to play with the contrast between classic and modern textures, which is why I opted for a vibrant pop art painting to warm the cooler tones of my bedroom’

- Daniele Marian, Interior Designer



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Frau-er Power

Antonio Spanedda’s pop art painting explores the fundamental role of women in not only art, but society. Simply entitled ‘Frau’, which means woman in German (thanks Duolingo), Spanedda’s pixelated letters merge into his subject’s face. This effect is particularly powerful as it identifies the crucial message that, even today, women continue to be identified by their sex before their profession, talent or indeed innate humanness.  


We Recommend: The square, 50x50 cm format, would make this the perfect piece to layer-up on a gallery wall. Although it can be tempting to continue a cool colour palette to complement the piece, we suggest the opposite. Nothing suggests pop art like shock value, so continue to surprise through creative contrasts, like these warm paintings!

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Antonio Spanedda, Frau

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