Cities have been a significant source of inspiration for artists throughout history, including in the genres of graffiti art and pop art. Graffiti art, in particular, has been used as a means of expressing social and political commentary on urban life, while pop art has been known to celebrate consumerism and the visual culture of cities. This essay explores how cities have been a central theme in both graffiti art and pop art, highlighting the ways in which artists have used these genres to reflect on and critique urban life. Graffiti art is a form of street art that emerged in the late 1960s in urban centers like New York City. Initially associated with gang activity and vandalism, graffiti art has since evolved into a recognized art form that is celebrated for its vibrant colors, bold lettering, and striking imagery. In many ways, graffiti art is a reflection of the cities in which it is created, as it often draws inspiration from the urban landscape and the social and political issues that define urban life. One of the ways that graffiti artists have used the city as a theme is by commenting on the social and economic inequalities that are often present in urban areas. For example, the artist Banksy is known for creating politically charged pieces that critique the gentrification of cities and the displacement of lower-income residents. In his piece "Kissing Coppers," which depicts two police officers kissing, Banksy is commenting on the perceived corruption of law enforcement and their role in maintaining the status quo in urban areas. Similarly, many graffiti artists have used their work to highlight the impact of globalization and consumerism on urban life. In his piece "The Death of Graffiti," artist Zephyr depicts a spray can lying on the ground, surrounded by logos of corporate brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald's. The piece is a commentary on the commercialization of art and the homogenization of culture in urban areas. In contrast, pop art celebrates the visual culture of cities and the consumerism that defines urban life. Pop art emerged in the 1950s and 1960s as a response to the rise of mass media and advertising, which inundated urban spaces with images of consumer goods and popular culture icons. Artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Claes Oldenburg celebrated this visual culture by incorporating popular imagery into their artwork. One of the ways that pop artists celebrated the city was by depicting its iconic landmarks and symbols. For example, Roy Lichtenstein's "Crying Girl" features a woman crying in front of a city skyline, while Andy Warhol's "Empire" depicts the Empire State Building. These works celebrate the grandeur and beauty of urban spaces, while also highlighting the impact of mass media and advertising on the cityscape. In addition to celebrating the visual culture of cities, pop art also critiqued consumerism and the commodification of culture. Artists like Claes Oldenburg created sculptures of everyday objects like hamburgers and typewriters, highlighting the ways in which consumer goods were becoming increasingly important in American culture. Similarly, Warhol's repeated images of Campbell's Soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles are a commentary on the ubiquity of these products in American society. Cities have been a central theme in both graffiti art and pop art, reflecting the social and political issues that define urban life. Graffiti artists have used their work to comment on the social and economic inequalities that are often present in urban areas, while pop artists have celebrated the visual culture of cities while critiquing consumerism and the commodification of culture. Whether celebrating the grandeur of urban landmarks or critiquing the impact of globalization and commercialization on urban spaces, both graffiti art and pop art offer powerful reflections on the role of cities in our lives.
Dave Persue Put It In The Ditch, Brah! Silkscreen Print by Dave Persue
Purchase Put It In The Ditch, Brah! Limited Edition 8-Color Hand-Pulled Silkscreen Print on 140lb Fine Art Paper by Persue graffiti street artist modern pop art. 2016 Signed & Numbered Limited Edition of 85 Artwork Size 16x20 "Before we left California for the East Coast Rime told me to put some ideas together for our stop in Detroit and at the 1xRun headquarters. He wanted to introduce me to the guys and help push getting me to release a print. Because things were hectic before leaving I wasn’t able to get anything together. By the time I got to Chicago I still didn’t have anything. Rime, Mason and I had been through a few cities by then and were pretty tired. The night before our stop in Chicago we were in Nebraska. Nebraska was fucking nasty as all hell. It is where we hit a patch of black ice and did 4 huge 360 spins down the highway with semi trucks barreling down the highway behind us. All I could get out of my mouth was “Put it in the ditch man”! That became the quote for the rest of the trip." - Persue
Cope2- Fernando Carlo New York City Subway Map Archival Print by Cope2- Fernando Carlo
Purchase New York City Subway Map Limited Edition Archival Pigment Print on 310gsm Fine Art Paper by Cope2 street artist modern pop art. 2016 Signed & Numbered Limited Edition of 75 Artwork Size 17x24 "Having a print made from an original New York City subway map piece that I created and collaborated with 1xRun on is a really great idea in the sense that many art collectors are able to own a piece of my New York City history.The whole concept of doing a New York City subway map goes perfect with my history as being a New York City graffiti art legend cause the subway system is were I made my bones and a name for my self tagging up and getting my name on every subway line and subway system in the whole city." - Cope2 Fernando Carlo a.k.a COPE2 is an American artist, active in the graffiti scene of New York. Cope2’s involvement in the street art scene of the 80s and 90s progressively made his reputation grow, making him one of the most well-known writers in the US. Controversial, yet iconic, the artist’s story and his involvement in graffiti since the last decades of the 20th century shed light on the history of graffiti itself and its evolution over the years.
Icy & Sot American Dream Silkscreen Print by Icy & Sot
Purchase American Dream Limited Edition 5-Color Hand-Pulled Silkscreen Print on 140lbs Mohawk Fine Art Paper by Icy & Sot graffiti street artist modern pop art. "American Dream is inspired by the homeless guy who was holding Starbucks cup asking for money. There are a lot of homeless people in New York, but they are invisible in between skyscrapers. We painted him bigger than the empire state building so he can be noticed more." - Icy & Sot
Dabs Myla New Horizons Archival Print by Dabs Myla
Purchase New Horizons Limited Edition Archival Pigment Prints on 310gsm Fine Art Paper by Dabs Myla graffiti street artist modern pop art. White Frame. "This painting was from our 2012 exhibition ‘Marvelous Expeditions’ at Thinkspace Gallery. The show was a split exhibition of our work and a show which we curated that featured work from our friends from all over the world. The theme of the show was traveling. The piece New Horizons was about a trip we made the year before to New Orleans with some good friends of ours. The three planes in the sky of the painting are the three friends that we went on the trip to New Orleans with." - Dabs Myla
Nicole Gustafsson Windmill Root Village Giclee Print by Nicole Gustafsson
Purchase Windmill Root Village Artwork Giclee Limited Edition Print on Fine Art Paper by Pop Culture Graffiti Artist Nicole Gustafsson.
Stephanie Buer Dequindre Cut Archival Print by Stephanie Buer
Purchase Dequindre Cut Limited Edition Archival Pigment Prints on 310gsm Fine Art Paper by Stephanie Buer graffiti street artist modern pop art. "I did this piece for a group show put together by Thinkspace Gallery titled LAX/SFO which took place in San Francisco at Hashimoto Contemporary Gallery this past October. I've always wanted to do a piece about the Dequindre Cut, but the images hadn't fit well with any of my larger bodies of work for past shows.I always get my ideas for pieces by wandering around cities and taking pictures. I sometimes start out with an idea or theme in mind, but the weather conditions or what I find will often dictate the direction of a piece or a body of work. I didn't head out that day, intending to explore this corridor, I just ended up there. It was an exciting day!" - Stephanie Buer
Mimi Yoon Between Here And There 2 Archival Print by Mimi Yoon
Purchase Between Here And There 2 Limited Edition Archival Pigment Prints on 310gsm Museum Natural White Fine Art Paper by Mimi Yoon graffiti street artist modern pop art. INFO
Glenn Barr Muse of the World Ochre Silkscreen Print by Glenn Barr
Purchase Muse of the World- Ochre Limited 2-Color Screen Print on 140lbs French Fine Art Paper by Glenn Barr street artist modern pop art. "This image was a popular poster I had released a few years ago. I decided to take it to a more “handcrafted” limited edition print different from offset. Last year I had it transcribed into a 2 color silk screen print and released it with only 25 in the edition, made for my show at Inner State Gallery in Detroit...They went fast. In celebration of the popular image I wanted to do another version. This time changing the color ways from the electric red. 50 editions to be in cool blues and another 50 in deep golds. Then to add a special edition and limited to 25 I created a 3rd screen with line work to enhance the Muse’s spectacle of flight." - Glenn Barr
Glenn Barr Muse of the World Blue Silkscreen Print by Glenn Barr
Purchase Muse of the World- Blue Limited 2-Color Screen Print on 140lbs French Fine Art Paper by Glenn Barrgraffiti street artist modern pop art. "This image was a popular poster I had released a few years ago. I decided to take it to a more “handcrafted” limited edition print different from offset. Last year I had it transcribed into a 2 color silk screen print and released it with only 25 in the edition, made for my show at Inner State Gallery in Detroit...They went fast. In celebration of the popular image I wanted to do another version. This time changing the color ways from the electric red. 50 editions to be in cool blues and another 50 in deep golds. Then to add a special edition and limited to 25 I created a 3rd screen with line work to enhance the Muse’s spectacle of flight." - Glenn Barr
Nicole Gustafsson Misty Moss Gorge Giclee Print by Nicole Gustafsson
Purchase Misty Moss Gorge Artwork Giclee Limited Edition Print on Fine Art Paper by Pop Culture Graffiti Artist Nicole Gustafsson.
Bezt Insomnia AP Giclee Print by Bezt
Purchase Insomnia Artist Proof AP Pop Street Artwork Limited Edition Giclee Print on 300gsm Fine Art Paper by Urban Graffiti Modern Artist Bezt. Artist Proof AP 2016 Signed Limited Edition Size 24x14 Regular Edition of 100
Sean Mort Bookshelf Chicago 2016 Silkscreen Print by Sean Mort
Purchase Bookshelf Chicago 2016 Limited Edition 3-Color Hand-Pulled Silkscreen Print on 100 lb. Cougar Natural Cover Stock by Sean Mort graffiti street artist modern pop art. Famous Chicago IL Buildings and Landmarks Arranged As Books on a Shelf. 20 x 16 inches, 3 color screenprint on Cougar Natural, a 100% recycled 230gsm paper. All prints are signed by the artist and will be sent first class recorded The print will fit perfectly in this frame All prints were designed and hand-printed by me in my spare bedroom in Leeds. Screen printing is often a long, messy process and I work hard to make each print as good as I can but each print has it’s own little imperfections and the price of the print reflects this. All prints in my shop have passed the Sean Mort quality test. If you are looking for 100% perfect printing, it’s probably best not to buy my prints. -Sean Mort
Bezt First Love AP Giclee Print by Bezt
Purchase First Love Artist Proof AP Pop Street Artwork Limited Edition Giclee Print on 300gsm Fine Art Paper by Urban Graffiti Modern Artist Bezt. Artist Proof AP 2016 Signed Limited Edition Size 40x21 Regular Edition of 30
David Soukup Metropolis 3 Silkscreen Print by David Soukup
Purchase Metropolis 3 Limited Edition 4-Color Hand-Pulled Silkscreen Print on 100lb Cougar Fine Art Paper by David Soukup graffiti street artist modern pop art. "These pieces were originally designed for a show I had in Long Beach a while back. I was working with the idea of how buildings, places, and space relate to each other in the urban environment. I've always been fascinated by cities and city life in general, and focus on that in a majority of my works. These pieces were collaged digitally and then stenciled by hand. I'm always trying to do whatever I can to push the stencil medium and see what can continue to be done. " - David Soukup
Faile Bad Seeds Silkscreen Print by Faile
Purchase Bad Seeds- Savage Sacred Young Minds Series 25-Color Hand-Pulled Limited Edition Silkscreen Print on 310gsm Coventry Rag (Deckle Edge) by Faile Rare Street Art Famous Pop Artwork Artist. FAILE (American, est. 1999) Title: Bad Seeds, 2016 Medium: Screenprint on 100% Cotton Rag Archival Paper with Deckled Edges Savage Sacred Young Minds Series
JC Richard Rise of the Planet of the Apes Silkscreen Print by JC Richard
Purchase Rise of the Planet of the Apes Limited Edition 1-Color Hand-Pulled Silkscreen Print on Fine Art Paper by JC Richard graffiti street artist modern pop art. Each measuring 18" x 24", these prints needed 8 screens and 9 colors to capture their vibrancy on the 100# c stock French Pop-Tone Berrylicious paper used and the back view of the character is printed on the reverse side of the print.
Nicole Gustafsson Sunset at the Mill Giclee Print by Nicole Gustafsson
Purchase Sunset at the Mill Artwork Giclee Limited Edition Print on Fine Art Paper by Pop Culture Graffiti Artist Nicole Gustafsson.
Bob Dob Barrels Of Fun 18x15 Archival Print by Bob Dob
Purchase Barrels Of Fun- 18 x 15 Limited Edition Archival Pigment Prints on 310gsm Fine Art Paper by Bob Dob graffiti street artist modern pop art. 2016 Signed & Numbered Limited Edition of 50 Artwork Size 18x15 "This painting was created for my solo show last November called “Exit Home.” The narrative for the show was how numb the general public has become to violence through our entertainment. I took two very recognizable pop culture characters, Mario and Luigi, and removed them from their world and put them into ours as LA gang members. My studio mate at the time was Greg Simkins who helped with the graffiti. All the paintings from the show had elements of L.A. gang culture but this piece “Barrels of Fun” focused on the whole story in one shot.I tried to bring in as many characters from Super Mario Bros as I could. Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, and Princess Peach are in the front car with Bowser and some Koopas getting blown up and a few Goombas hanging out on the street." - Bob Dob