Right at Home: Pop art packs decor punch

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS - BY KIM COOK

Mid-cen­tury mod­ern style is now firmly planted in the home dé­cor land­scape. And one of its el­e­ments, pop art, is cul­ti­vat­ing a 21st cen­tury fol­low­ing.

Eye-catch­ing, graphic, of­ten tonguein-cheek or sass­ily whim­si­cal, pop art dé­cor plays well off the vin­tage vibe and yet also makes con­tem­po­rary fur­nish­ings, well, pop.

In the 1950s, Ab­stract Ex­pres­sion­ism dom­i­nated the art world, with Willem de Koon­ing, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pol­lock among its su­per­stars. The can­vas served as an arena for ag­gres­sive ap­pli­ca­tions of paint. Con­cep­tual, non­fig­u­ra­tive art found a strong fol­low­ing in the art world, if not al­ways with av­er­age Amer­i­cans, at least at first.

In the ef­fer­ves­cent, cul­ture-ob­sessed 1960s, artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Licht­en­stein and David Hock­ney cre­ated col­lages, mixed me­dia art and lith­o­graphs that de­picted the tal­is­mans of pop­u­lar cul­ture. They took in­spi­ra­tion from con­sumer cul­ture, from soap boxes to soup cans, flags to the funny pa­pers, Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe to Mao. While some crit­ics de­rided it as jokey, low-brow or too fo­cused on ma­te­ri­al­ism, the ap­proach­able imagery con­nected easi- ly with main­stream Amer­ica. It was hip, fun and re­lat­able.

“I con­sider pop art a clas­sic,” says Jennifer DeLonge, an in­te­rior and prod­uct de­signer in Carls­bad, Cal­i­for­nia. “It was such an im­por­tant time in de­sign and it con­tin­ues to with­stand so many fleet­ing trends. As a de­signer, I’m al­ways drawn to pop first be­cause I ap­pre­ci­ate graphic lines and very ob­vi­ous color.”

DeLonge has launched a so­cial mar­ket­place app called Reis­sued that brings lovers of vin­tage, one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find items to­gether to buy and sell. A bright yel­low 1960s Coke bot­tle crate was re­cently up for grabs.

Fab.com’s pop art dé­cor in­cludes Quinze + Mi­lan’s gi­ant Brillo box pouf. Also of note: Karls­son’s min­i­mal­ist wall clock made of two over­size red hands; Fin­nish de­signer Jonna Saari­nen’s ab­stract, printed birch tray in vivid tan­ger­ine and red; and lith­o­graphs in the Mas­ters of Pop Art col­lec­tion that in­cludes Warhol’s por­trait of Muham­mad Ali, Keith Har­ing’s “Un­ti­tled” se­ries, and Roy Licht­en­stein’s “Blonde Wait­ing.”

Bi­au­gust’s whim­si­cal lit­tle black up­hol­stered chairs shaped like ponies, lambs and buf­falo are avail­able at Mol­las­pace. Here too is a vivid bub­blegum-pink and Slushie-blue map of the world, as well as acrylic coast­ers printed with blank car­toon-speech bub­bles that can be writ­ten on with a re­us­able pen, and a se­ries of can­vas stor­age bins printed with old-school boom boxes, ra­dios and TV sets.

A few pop art ac­ces­sories in a room make a state­ment for a mod­est price. Creative Mo­tion’s cylin­dri­cal ta­ble lamp printed with comic-strip imagery is un­der $50. A col­lec­tion of kicky, ‘70s-style graphic print pil­lows from notNeu­tral pack pop punch.

Can­vases and throw pil­lows from the Los An­ge­les art decor stu­dio Maxwell Dick­son fea­ture some ar­rest­ing, edgy de­signs, in­clud­ing a pho­to­re­al­is­tic image of a table­ful of empty liquor bot­tles, a ty­po­graphic traf­fic jam of color-blocked let­ters, and the word “POP” ex­plod­ing like a car­toon graphic.

The Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art’s store has lots of pop art items from which to choose: Damien Hirst’s white wall clock with col­or­ful polka dots would be ter­rific in a child’s room. Verner Pan­ton’s black and white Op­tik pil­low fea­tures a dizzy­ing kalei­do­scope of cir­cles and stripes that’s as much “op” as “pop.” There’s also a wide range of prints and post­cards that you can frame your­self.

Check Spoon­flower.com for fab­ric yardage and wall­pa­per with pop art prints from new de­sign­ers. There are psy­che­delic-in­spired pat­terns, and even a chicken print that riffs off of the now- fa­mous screen-print­ing tech­nique that Warhol used for por­traits.

In this photo pro­vided by Maxwell Dick­son, the Los An­ge­les-based de­sign house cre­ates ar­rest­ing pop art us­ing a va­ri­ety of tech­niques and imagery. A table­ful of empty liquor bot­tles, a traf­fic jam of stacked col­or­blocked ty­pog­ra­phy, and a lit­eral,...

AP PHO­TOS

Above: In this photo pro­vided by Maxwell Dick­son, the Los An­ge­les-based de­sign house cre­ates ar­rest­ing pop art us­ing a va­ri­ety of tech­niques and imagery. Right: This photo pro­vided by Mol­las­pace shows Bau­gust’s whim­si­cal chairs that in­clude a lamb,...

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