Mention Pop Art and usually the first name that comes to mind is <a href="[link]>Andy Warhol, with all the baggage and potential controversy that it may imply.
"He's a hack!"
"He's a genius"
Maybe he was both?
Maybe the names of a few commonly regarded and seen persons can be named-dropped, such as Lichtenstein or Indiana, but Pop Art has spawned a long list of creative minds spanning many mediums and approaching a myriad of expressive avenues that is a pivotal cornerstone of much of what appears at DA.
Started in the 1950s, and largely a product of US and UK artists, it was initially called Propaganda Art, but L. Alloway (a writer for Architectural Digest of all things) coined the Pop Art moniker to refer to the styles almost casual accessibility, and made note of how it was a response to make a more popular (consumer culture oriented) form to the perceived seriousness and intellectual rigor of Abstract Expressionism, and also drawing from the 'ready-made' art concepts of Marcel Duchamp (aka the urinal in the gallery guy).
All of this was tied to the post World War II positive sentiment in the US/UK, and parallels in popular music (the rise of rock)and new a consumerism built from post-war prosperity. This is why so much of Pop Art seems to center around everyday objects, either reproduced in new mediums or placed in odd contexts (Jasper John's American Flag, Lichtenstein's Drowning Girl) and also seriously blurred the lines between fine art and commercialism.
This wasn't without controversy. Everyone from the stuffier art critics of the day, to comic book artists were complaining, although not always for the same reasons; in the former, you had a dislike of what was seen as bringing the fine arts down to the casual consumer level, and in the latter, you had artists who were used to getting paid 20-50 dollars per comic page seeing an artist like Lichtenstein making six figures per painting. From the other direction were commercial interests that did not want their branding potentially tainted, most notably the lawsuit filed by Campbell Soup company against Andy Warhol (Campbell's lost that PR battle...no soup for them).
Pop Art utilizes the notion that art can be derived from depiction or use of everyday objects and themes, either at face value or in wildly stylized ways, changing how we perceive art and where it fits in society. In the 21st Century, we take this largely for granted, but back then it was really bleeding edge. Techniques ranged from various painting media, collage, printmaking, sculpture and installation art.
Some of the more interesting Pop informed artists since the first wave could include Keith Haring (made even more famous by his work for MTV during its seminal years), video artist Paik Nan-Jun, and even in hints of cd package designer and illustrator Vaughn Oliver and Chris Beggs of v23.
Some could also blame Pop Art as having laid out some of the initial groundwork for the growing trend of marketing counterculture as a consumerist enterprise and making perceived rebellion a materialistic, purchasable thing. You aren't an individual, but a collection of pop culture references sold to you and many others in mass produced fashion, but presented as somehow eliciting the sense of individualism. Tied to this would be the current trend of ironic posturing with the most cheesy and disposable aspects of past movements, and an almost ingrained desire to live up to Andy Warhol's infamous maxim, "In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes".
Now DA, has its own practicioners, some quite impressive at face value. Not every work fits the genre, but these artists (among many others) have solid, well-conceived works that touch on or are wholesale extensions of the genre: