Claes Oldenburg: Pop Art Analysis

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“I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical,” Claes Oldenburg describes his artistic view, “that does something other than sit on it’s ass in a museum.” When observing Oldenburg’s piece, Giant Three-Way Plug, Scale A, it appears to simply depict an oversized electrical plug and thus contradict this grandiose statement. However, after incorporating the context in which this piece was made, one can see how it exemplifies the provocative nature of his work and the Pop Art movement. While the intention behind the 1960s movement of Pop Art is ambiguous, Oldenburg’s statement shows that his work is supposed to make the viewer question it. He elaborates on this statement, promoting art that is accessible to everyone, can originate from anywhere, and can incorporate absolutely everything. Furthermore, Pop Art emerged…show more content…
Although Oldenburg was trained as an expressionist, the group of artists he joined upon arriving in New York rejected the style’s abstract forms and distinct individuality. Challenging the idea of refined, high art, the group took commericial, aesthetically unpleasing objects to create a new type of art. This core idea is shown in Giant Three-Way Plug, since its distinct form allows it to be seen simply as a consumer object, a plug. However, the combination of the piece’s uncomplicated form and large scale, allows for it to symbolize more than just a plug. While all viewers see a plug, the piece’s simple shapes allow for the plug to resemble similar objects, particularly those relating to war. Additionally, the use of everyday objects allow for art to be open to the public, harkening back to Oldenburg’s outlook that art should be for everyone. Due to the use of recognizable commercial objects within Pop Art, the viewer is able to see an alternative and deeper meaning to the
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