Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Sparkle App", by G, Malvern PA, new media

The interesting thing about pop art is that the “pop culture” it seeks to play with is constantly shifting -- Marilyn Monroe begat Jane Fonda who begat Britney Spears and so forth. Campbell’s soup can is no longer the iconic staple it once was -- today’s Warhol may have just as easily lampooned Google’s omnipresent logo. Roy Lichtenstein’s power-pop cartoon strips are simply not as relevant to the present day – save for two exceptions: Family Circus; as great writing NEVER goes out of style, and the irrepressible comic stylings of the indolent Andy Capp. Be that as it may, the pop art ship has drifted sans El Capitan for years now. In early ’05, a San Jose artists collective known simply as “The Toddlers” claimed to have spurred the next chapter but their decision to use only The Segway as the central theme in their work ultimately proved too limiting and nerdy. Enter G, a 10-month old sensation from Malvern, PA. G’s game-changer, “Sparkle App” is the perfect blend of old and new – all the pop art principles have a safe home here: bright, strident colors, mass accessibility, instant familiarity. G’s work looks and feels just as Lichtenstein wanted his to when he said, “I want my painting to look as if it had been programmed.” And yet G brings the movement to the present and future by replacing the comic strip with an ipad screen. Where Lichtenstein was driven to explore a sense of detached “antisensibility” in his work, G welcomes the viewer – the digital interface invites us to pick the next color and create the next line. It’s pop art for a more interactive, two-way society. That, my friends, is how you push things forward. Interview requests went unreturned but it is believed the artist cannot yet talk.