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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Jan 10, 2016
Headline for Friends in Low-Art Places: 6 Pop Culture Painters
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Friends in Low-Art Places: 6 Pop Culture Painters

These artists dive into the postmodern realm by breaking the boundaries between so-called “high” and “low” art. By painting pop culture, they shake up our categories and make us re-think the world around us.

Ron English

Ron English is famous for his subversive mixture of high and low art, as well as coining the term "popaganda". His culturejams of well-known advertisements are brilliantly satirical, often exposing the realities behind the messages. His art is thoughtful and provocative enough to change the way we view popular culture, from persuasive advertising to massive icons. He takes the meaning and tears it apart with a picture on the side of a brick wall.

Brandon Bird

It’s clear that Brandon Bird is subtly playing with the mythologies of these characters by throwing them into another artistic context.He uses well known actors and re-creates their image either in the mundane or the outrageous. His art is unexpected (Bea Arthur wrestling a gang of Raptors), but makes sense at the same time (David Schwimmer doing pool aerobics with a noodle). His book, “Brandon Bird’s Astonishing World of Art”, showcases much of his work.

Nicky Barkla

Nicky Barkla’s art bleeds every color in the book through the well known faces of fictional pop icons. The paintings are psychedelic masterpieces, which are perfect representations for the way these characters exist in our shared consciousness.They blend and mix with our life experiences in the same way Barkla’s colors work together to build these amazing pictures.

Hillary White

Hillary White picks from our beloved pop culture characters and places them right into the worlds of famous artists. You’ll see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as if they had been painted by Vincent van Gogh because her technique is spot on. It might make the art snob cringe and the pop culture junkie jump for joy. Thank White for breaking those boundaries.

Dave Pollot

Dave's art is like fanfiction that helps us see our icons in a different light.He takes thrifted old landscape artwork and uses it as the setting for pop culture loves like Star Wars and Futurama characters. It’s like they’re part of a whole new story or some secret life outside of the original script.

Rich Pellegrino

Rich Pellegrino is known for his beautifully painted portraits of characters such as Marty from Back to the Future, Scorcese’s De Niro, and Dr. Who. He’s clearly a skilled artist with a knack for picking up on the personalities of these characters in their expression. This is not an easy feat without the dialogue provided in the shows they’re part of.