Looking to start a pop art collection, try Murakami. Adding to an established one, perhaps a Hamilton? Here’s our Pop Art Picks.
1. Andy Warhol
No assessment of pop art would be complete without featuring Andy Warhol. One of the most well known artists of all time, his artwork is recognisable worldwide and still considered collectible. Warhol makes regular appearances on the list of most expensive paintings; in July his One Dollar Bill sold at auction for £20.9m, £7m more than its presale estimates. Most recently, two Warhol’s mysteriously disappeared from a Slovakian art museum (and then reappeared again according to the Slovak Spectator), which houses the second largest collection of Warhol artwork in the world, So…in demand inside and outside of the auction house!
2. Keith Haring
Keith Haring began as a graffiti artist but his unique, graphic and bold style quickly saw him bridge the gap between graffiti and pop art. Rising to fame in the mid-80s, Haring was known for oil and acrylic paintings as well as sculptures and exhibited prolifically in prestigious art fairs such as the Venice Biennale. His work is often heavily politically motivated (the graffiti artist in him) but is expressed through bold, childlike colours and motifs (the pop artist), often selling for between £300,000 – £700,000 which many art critics consider undervalued when compared to his contemporaries. Limited edition prints can fetch upwards of £10,000.
3. Richard Hamilton
Painter and printmaker Richard Hamilton is widely touted as the father of pop art and whilst his work may not fetch the sums of a Warhol or Lichtenstein (highest price paid for a Hamilton is £557,000) it is a special addition to any collection of the pop art aficionado. He was a founding member of The Independent Group and famously described pop art as “popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and Big Business”… can’t argue with that!
4. Takashi Murakami
Murakami is considered to be a Warhol of the modern day (a comparison he dismisses as “easy”) because of his appropriation of commercial and popular images in his highly recognisable artwork. Murakami takes inspiration from Japanese culture – the artistic heritage and traditions as well as the more modern anime and manga genres. To date, the highest price paid for a Murakami is around £2.7m and the market for his work continues to thrive globally, but particularly in Asia. It is still possible to pick up Murakami for around £20,000 and a limited edition print (such as Killer Pink, pictured) for much much less, so good news for anyone looking for some modern pop art!
Next week: If you’re wondering where all the women are, look out for our post on the forgotten women of the pop art movement.
Further reading: What is Pop Art?