What Is Pop Art? Contemporary Artists

Over the past five decades Pop Art has necessarily evolved alongside of mass media and popular culture. Original artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselman brought art out of stuffy, high-end galleries and made it accessible to everyday Americans. Since then, Pop Art has experienced various waves of popularity. During the 1980’s, a style developed called Neo Pop Art which featured pop icons, animal figures and contained embedded psychological evaluations. Today, three contemporary artists are redefining this art form with vibrant colors, bold outlines and playful themes.

Few realize that before Carlos A. Navarro became a celebrated artist, his original career path was in the corporate world. After years of spending long workdays in what he refers to as “too structured” of an environment, Navarro left the business world to rekindle his passion for art. In 1992 the artist was approached by a family friend who offered him work painting a mural for a hotel on South Beach. Although the job eventually fell through, Navarro had already developed various sketches, and decided to commit them to canvas. This was the humble beginning of what has developed into a phenomenal career. His work is a fusion of traditional Pop Art with Miami, Cuban, and other contemporary influences. His pieces have been featured in the Smithsonian, as well as various exhibitions and festivals.

Tim Rogerson describes his own work as a “jigsaw puzzle of color to form an image.” Long recognized as a rising star in Pop Art, Rogerson is best known for his vibrant and detailed renditions of common Disney characters. This artist attended the prestigious Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. He majored in Illustration, and was awarded the 2003 Best Artist Award, as well as the 2003 and 2004 Best of Ringling Award. When recalling his experience at the art school, Rogerson said “I was a very traditional art student and explored all the works from the old masters to modern art.” Since graduating in 2004, Rogerson has contributed his artistic abilities everywhere from SS Designs to Disney. His style has been called prolific and inimitable. He is now considered one of the best Pop Art artists in the world.

Romero Britto began his career in Recife, Brazil. He grew up among eight brothers and sisters and had an extremely humble childhood. However, his innate creativity allowed him to fill his life with vibrant colors and images. Many of Britto’s first projects are little known, but led to his discovery and notable mark on the art world. He is a pop culture phenomenon who’s depiction of exultant and joyous figures have brought smiles to the faces of millions. When questioned about his inspiration for his work, Britto replied “I believe that every human being should try to do good for someone else. There are so many different ways to do it. My art can be an instrument for helping people… What a good feeling – that I can do that with my art…” He is one of the most iconic Pop Art artists of the past decade.

Together, Romero Britto, Carlos A. Navarro, and Tim Rogerson are forging a new style of Pop Art. They have definitively broken with the Pop Art of Warhol, Lichtenstein and Wesselman, and have instead created a more contemporary and widely attractive identity. However, they have preserved the original intent of making art more available to the masses. These artists have blurred the line between art and retail design, as they have licensed gift collections, house wares and jewelry. Their use of sharply contrasting colors and playful themes has garnered public adoration, while demanding the respect of the high-end art world.

How to Find the Best Martial Arts to Train

Many people want to know what the best martial arts to train are. Such a question is not always easily answered, as many factors go into what one person may call the “best martial arts.” The problem with many martial arts nowadays is not the art itself, but the translation of the martial art from its original source to the lineage of students that come from it. Another idea to consider is that each person’s idea of “best” is not always the same. And lastly, the dedication and mastery of an instructor is the ideal way to find the “best” martial arts, not judging how good a school is ONLY on style or fancy d├ęcor.

All combat arts are the same. Some may look a little different from others, but the strategies used are universal. Therefore, there is no such thing as the best martial arts, merely superior martial artists. The quality of instruction a person receives is of the utmost importance, as many claim to teach the way but do not them selves fully comprehend the art. A person who is taught badly will produce bad students. This is the reason many people say things like, “black belts can’t really fight,” or “this art is better than that art.” In reality, many things could cause this thinking. Insufficient training, never fully learning the art to begin with, and “adding” changes to the art can greatly modify the way it was originally conveyed. Also, many instructors of old kept many things secret, or even taught a “pseudo” art to outsiders (especially Americans) to protect their family heritage. The notion that best martial arts exist is a misconception that stems from many causes that are not seen nor understood by the general public.

A simple idea that people often don’t think about is the fact that everyone values things differently. Not all sign up for MA lessons to become the most dangerous fighter around. Some students join for social reasons, exercise, or for status. The term “best martial arts” is a subjective word because it is an opinion. If by the combat arts we mean staying alive, then most certainly it is important to choose an excellent martial artist as a teacher. When a person finds “the” instructor, they will know it. It will be very obvious that this person has an ability beyond the average person and is not selling something fake. Research and expectations from the student will help him/her choose their own best martial art that will accomplish their goals.

One quality of superior martial artists lies in the example he/she sets. This person should have a sound understanding of the art they are proclaiming to be experts in and can demonstrate techniques that work and also explain the rationale behind why they work. Beware of teachers that say things like, “don’t ask questions, all questions will be answered in the long run.” This usually means “I don’t know, but am too egotistical to admit it.” Also look out for schools that don’t place a strong emphasis on kata (or forms) training. This is an essential step to warriorship, and one that is very easily tossed aside nowadays. If the techniques or sparring look very sloppy and appear to be more of a kickboxing match this might not be a good realistic self-defense system. Trust your gut instinct as to whether or not it is a good fit for you and your goals.

Clearly, the best martial arts are all styles given the teacher has the knowledge and skill. A few things to think about when evaluating the “best martial arts” are the background and lineage of the martial art, the individual goals for training, and a good eye for finding a qualified, knowledgeable instructor. It is also important to keep one’s personal goals in mind while searching for the best martial arts. Finding the true path to knowledge and understanding in martial arts is one well worth searching for; It is a journey that can bring satisfaction and confidence to your life.

Art Supplies – Finding the Right Art Materials

Given the current economic climate people are less inclined to spend huge amounts of money in order to fulfill hobbies and pastimes. People are turning to different methods of shopping, including online shopping where supplies compete with high street rates, so you can usually find what you are looking for at a reasonable price. This is a convenient method of shopping given that you aren’t wasting time and petrol browsing many shops trying to find the best price. Many budding artists and professionals too are turning to online art suppliers to source their preferred art supplies. This allows for people interested in art or who are new to art to purchase art supplies at the click of a button. Finding art materials online is also useful for beginners who might require detailed information with regards to the mediums they might want to use and it is also handy for them to read over reviews and find products that are highly recommended by others.

Reputable art suppliers will endeavour to offer the art materials that best suit your talents, and most will offer starter kits, craft kits and craft supplies that will help any amateur to experiment with different mediums and sample different types and brands of materials. Buying art supplies online means you can plan your artistic ventures beforehand knowing your products will arrive at a certain time. It is advisable to choose a reputable art materials source that can be trusted, so you can go back time and time again and purchase your favourite items. They tend to supply art materials on all levels so again, it is just a case of reading through the information provided and choosing what you think might suit your ability and needs.

Art materials can mean anything from canvases, easels, field easels and craft kits to acrylic paint, fabric paint and any other hobby craft materials that you might require. The list is endless. Art supplies available online are also handy for anybody looking for a unique and personal gift for a family member or friend who might be interested in art. The craft kits available make excellent gifts for any aspiring artist who wants to experiment with new mediums. Of course like anything, the prices will inevitably vary and with art supplies, the difference is generally down to quality. That said, even the lower price brands still maintain high standards – and as you progress with your art, you can start buying higher quality art supplies to suit the professionalism of your work. This is, of course, so you don’t waste highly priced art supplies on experimenting or making mistakes.