Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Born on this day in 1933. James Rosenquist, sign painter turned pop artist

November 29, 1933. James Rosenquist (born November 29, 1933 - March 31, 2017) was an American artist and one of the protagonists in the pop-art movement. In this image, he stands in front of his art work 'Brazil' which he created in 2004 at the art museum in Wolfsburg, Germany on Thursday, 17 February 2005.

The piece was part of a retrospective which included 150 works of art spanning across three decades, allowing an insight into the work of a leading representative of US American Pop Art. The exhibition ran until  June 5, 2005. The billboard painter-turned-artist's early works are also considered emblematic of a burgeoning consumer culture in America during the 1960s. Throughout his career, Rosenquist continued to create massive, provocative paintings, whose relevance hinges on their engagement with current economic, political, environmental, and scientific issues.

The artist was among the first to directly address the persuasive, even deceptive, powers of advertising by applying the Surrealist practice of juxtaposing seemingly unrelated subjects to fragmented commercial images and ads in a manner that highlights the omnipresence of ads.

An advocate for his fellow artists, Rosenquist used his prominent artistic reputation to help lobby for federal protection of artists' rights during the 1970s and was soon thereafter appointed to the National Council on the Arts.

Because he successfully moved beyond his early fascination with popular culture and mass media to address new issues, such as the intersection of science and aesthetics, Rosenquist is credited with being one the few Pop artists whose later work continues to be relevant.


1 comment:

Carla Ives said...

I had never heard of Rosenquist. That's quite an interesting transition from sign painter to pop art icon. Not so sure how I feel about this type of art, but the "Brazil" piece is intriguing although I'm not exactly sure what it's trying to say.