Pop culture perpetuates and reflects what we deem significant and worthy of our attention. But what exactly is pop culture? Pop culture refers to the “traditions and material culture of a particular society.” — ThoughtCo. These traditions and material culture are commonly produced by movies, TV shows, comics, music, video games, fashion, and technology, among other mediums, which generates appeal and accessibility to the masses.
Pop culture has the power to build fan communities through their shared love for a medium. As seen with Comic-Con, a widely popular fan convention dedicated to comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, cosplay, toys, movies, and television. Fans gather often dressed up as iconic characters as a form of expression and devotion to their favorite pop culture references. This, in turn, creates connections and bonds around these shared-interests and allows people to feel like they’re a part of something greater than themselves.
In addition to forming communities, pop culture has also become a tool for bringing attention to social injustices. “Pop culture has evolved into a tool for propagating dissent and bringing to light various social issues that run rampant but are ignored… It is largely attributed to pop culture that the present generation is more accepting and dynamic and vocal about injustice and issues that plague the society.” — Medium.com
Speaking of which, one genre that has taken the forefront to do just that is comics. “Comic books have sometimes been decades ahead of the curve on issues of race, gender, and sexuality.” — BBC. Take DC’s newest film Joker (2019), for instance. You have a highly recognized comic book villain taking center stage in his very own film like never before. Rather than just seeing the eccentric Joker manifested as we already know him, the film portrays his evolution from regular man to crazed criminal. Displaying the mistreatment of a mentally troubled comedian as he evolves into the villainous maniac known as the Joker. This creates conversations about our society at large, how we treat others who are different and the possible repercussions of those acts of malice. Something our society, unfortunately, knows all too well.
Because of its strong relationship to the masses, pop culture is often replicated and reborn in all types of creative outlets. The artistic representation of pop culture is referred to as Pop Art. Developed in the 1950s pop art “coincided with the globalization of pop music and youth culture […] It included different styles of painting and sculpture from various countries, but what they all had in common was an interest in mass-media, mass-production, and mass-culture”. — ArtyFactory
Through pop art, artists can reflect our interests and comment on society by emulating pop culture in their own artwork. “They also blur the distinction between high and low culture through their inclusion of common subject matter in “fine” art.” — Artsy. This allows for the joining of two worlds into one. Where high-end luxury meets modern commercial iconography.
At Newport Brushstrokes you can find beautiful unique paintings of all genres. Artist Blend Cota, the main artist of DC Comics artwork, has created astonishing paintings of well-known comic book characters. These include the likes of Batman, Harley Quinn, the Flash, Wonder Woman, among many others. The unconventional use of color in his paintings has made him one of the most sought-after artists in the world!
For evidence of his skill, talent and amazing vision just click below to see some of the painting in his collection:
The Dark Knight displays the renowned masked vigilante of Gotham himself. This painting represents the strength and fierceness of this legendary Dark Knight. The deep purple shows his inner colors of devotion and courage against those who would lay way waste to his city.
In Blend’s The Joker and Harley Quinn, he depicts the wild splendor of this iconic duo through their eccentric fashion and playful personalities. The blend of color splashes celebrates the craziness of their lives.
And in Daddy’s lil’ Monster he represents the amazing personality and creative mind of Harley Quinn. The vibrant palette of dancing hues selected emphasizes her interchangeable personas and the emotions that keep everyone guessing. Bright colors and her mischievous expression make this piece playfully vicious. These colorful artistic adaptions of some of pop culture’s most iconic characters combine high and low culture into one must-have collector’s item. Be sure to check out Newport Brushstrokes for more of Blend Cota’s amazing works of art (with more coming soon)!
By Makyla Coulombe