Richard Hamilton – Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?, 1956

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I think most pop art is a commentary of mass media and consumerism, but many of those comments–each artist has their own perspective–are rather ambiguous, sociological, often conveyed with the detachment of an entomologist looking over the workings of an ant colony or something. There is an interesting interview with Hamilton’s distributor in [Interview]( that might give you a sense of the man. For example here is what Cristea has to say about Hamilton’s perspective regarding this work:

“BANKS: A lot of people going to see this Tate show will associate Richard with Pop Art. How did Richard see himself within that movement?

CRISTEA: Yes, it’s the most interesting subject for most people because I suppose that was the height of his engagement with the contemporary, and his work has so much to do with how news is mediated. I mean he did actually coin the term Pop Art in a letter for “This Is Tomorrow,” at The Whitechapel Gallery in 1956, he did the famous collage, *Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing*, which was in fact a prep collage for the poster for the exhibition of the show. It achieved this iconic status because of the man holding the lollipop, which said Pop. I think the whole thing Richard was trying to get at with Pop is that it’s an abbreviation for popular. In the letter he wrote for “This Is Tomorrow,” he characterized Pop Art as transient, witty, sexy, big-business, short-term, money—you know, Pop! But I don’t think Richard himself was ever a real fan of the popular. What Richard was most interested in is the way that society was developing, and the role of the media, big business and advertising, and what effect that had on human nature.”

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