Pop Art

Pop Art is art based on modern popular culture and the mass media, especially as a critical or ironic comment on traditional fine art values. – https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pop_art

Pop art to me is exciting and vibrant. It’s colour and freshness stands out and apart in a very bold, high energetic way.

Cows in Taranaki
Cows in Taranaki – Lee Rapira 2017

Cows in Taranaki is a fun look at Taranaki using the famous Pop Art formula. For this assignment we were asked to make Pop Art and relate it back to where we lived, so I used the humble dairy cow. “Star” gazing, Egypt and alien abductions are some things I am interested in, as is travelling hence the road paving its way through the bright pink environment.

*Links to images I used above are at the bottom of this page.

Untitled – 2017

I used the humble dairy cow because I also wanted to show the photogenic simplicity I believe these iconic cows possess. As a vegetarian I find their nurturing qualities are in stark contrast to how these beautiful beasts are processed, killed, sold and shipped from New Zealand to the world at large.  Go Dairy facts and figures state: ‘In June 2015 New Zealand Dairy companies processed 21.3 billion liters of milk’ – that is a a lot of milk that isn’t going to any calf those mother cows have had. The Meat Industry Association of New Zealand also states:

The New Zealand meat industry earned $7 billion in export revenue in the 12 months ended September 2016. The industry processes around 25 million sheep and five million cattle every year, exporting more than one million tonnes of red meat and co-products to more than 120 countries.

The Taranaki text that I’ve used I cut from the Taranaki Daily News paper.

Meat Industry Association of New Zealand-  http://www.mia.co.nz/

Go Dairy – http://godairy.co.nz/the-big-picture/facts-and-figures

Cow image – www.pngall.com/cow

There are some great documentaries about how the meat and dairy industry are linked to global warming. The movie makers also delve into the exploitation and abuse side that these big corporations would rather keep quiet. Cowspiracy, Food Inc and Earthlings are three I recommend to watch.


Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rain forest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.

As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistle blowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist.





Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by filmmaker Robert Kenner. The Academy Award-nominated film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees. The film is narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.  The film received positive responses and was nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award and the Independent Spirit Awards in 2009, both for Best Documentary Feature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food,_Inc.


Earthlings is a 2005 American documentary film about humanity’s use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and for scientific research. Covering pet stores, puppy mills, and animal profession, Earthlings includes footage obtained through the use of hidden cameras to chronicle the day-to-day practices of some of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely on animals. It draws parallels between racism, sexism, and speciesism.

Back to Pop Art!

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, and utilize a variety of media, including painting, silk screening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental film Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966-67) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol

Cow – 1966 Andy Warhol
Che Guevara – 1968 Andy Warhol


Richard Hamilton

Richard William Hamilton  was an English painter and collage artist. His Just what is it that makes homes so different, so appealing are considered by critics and historians to be among the earliest works of Pop art. https://learnodo-newtonic.com/10-most-famous-pop-art-paintings-and-collages

Just what is it that makes homes so different, so appealing – Richard Hamilton 1956

Roy Lichtenstien

Whaam! – Roy Lichtenstein  1963

Roy Lichtenstien…most celebrated image is arguably Whaam! one of the earliest known examples of pop art, adapted from a comic-book panel drawn by Irv Novick in a 1962 issue of DC Comics’ All-American Men of War. The painting depicts a fighter aircraft firing a rocket into an enemy plane, with a red-and-yellow explosion. The cartoon style is heightened by the use of the onomatopoeic lettering “Whaam!” and the boxed caption “I pressed the fire control… and ahead of me rockets blazed through the sky…” This diptych is large in scale, measuring 1.7 x 4.0 m (5 ft 7 in x 13 ft 4 in).


Pop Art lives on!

Hello Beautiful – Vartan Garnikyan

Vartan Garnikyan is transporting the caped crusader into classical paintings through the medium of digital art. Starting with the “Starry Knight” that references his favorite scene in “Dark Knight Rises”, he has made five Batman related pieces thus far. Copies of them can be purchased on his Etsy.

“This is my way of helping artists like Van Gogh and Da Vinci keep trending after all these centuries,” Garnikyan wrote on Bored Panda. “I might be wrong, but I can’t help but notice how indifferent the general public is with classic art these days. I feel like every generation has a little less interest in the past.” He is pleased that his fans ask him when the original was painted.



Shepard Fairey

Hope – Shepard Fairey 2008

The most widely distributed version of Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster, featuring the word “hope”. Other versions used the words “change” and “progress.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_Fairey


Mr Brain Wash aka MBW aka Thierry Guetta

David Bowie – Mr Brainwash

Mr. Brainwash (often written MBW) is a name used by French-born, Los Angeles-based street artist Thierry Guetta. According to the 2010 Banksy-directed film Exit Through the Gift Shop, Guetta was a proprietor of a used clothing store, where he began as a security guard, and amateur videographer who was first introduced to street art by his cousin, the street artist Invader, and who filmed street artists through the 2000s and “evolved” into an artist in his own right in a matter of weeks after an off-hand suggestion from Banksy.




@ Wiki Link here > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banksy

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson – Banksy

Pulp Fiction, a 1994 Quentin Tarantino classic, was immortalized once again by none other than Banksy himself. Featuring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson as they appear in the movie, holding bananas instead of guns, first appeared on a wall in London in 2007, but it was removed shortly after, due to its “violence.” The piece, however, found its way around it, and is now available on stretched canvas and as print. Interestingly enough, in 2012, one such print was sold for £10,600, proving Banksy’s dominance on the art market yet again. – Widewalls http://www.widewalls.ch/10-most-awesome-actor-graffiti-homages/twe-prod-crew-heath-ledger/

Captain America

Eric Tan created this Captain America: The First Avenger propaganda poster, one in a series being released by Mondo (one of my favourites!)



Kiwi Pop Art

Links to Kiwi Pop art images found at :

Pop art tea towel – https://www.funkygifts.co.nz/pop-art-sheep-tea-towel

Sheep on tractor – https://nz.pinterest.com/globalcultureNZ/artwork/

Dick Frizzell – http://blog.prints.co.nz/2010/04/four-square-man-returns-in-dick.html

Greig Straight – http://www.prints.co.nz/page/fine-art/PROD/9052

Mickey to Tiki – https://popmotif.com/products/mickey-to-tiki-tu-meke-1

Links to Cows in Taranaki image I found here:

Stars – http://7-themes.com/collections/hdq-stars-backgrounds/

Pink Solid – https://wallpapersafari.com/solid-pink-wallpaper

Moon – www.pngpix.com/download/moon-png-transparent-image

Saturn – https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/99712579227234211/

UFO – www.clipartkid.com/ufo-cliparts/

Cow –  www.pngall.com/cow

Pyramids – www.stickpng.com/cat/world-landmarks/egypt?page=1

Mt. Taranaki – http://freepngimages.com/the-london-eye-transparent-background/

Kylie Jenner – http://andie-mikaelson.deviantart.com/art/PNG-Kylie-Jenner-616288164 Scraps©2016-2017 Andie-Mikaelson

Marijuana plant – http://www.freeclipart.pw/category/marijuana-leaf-png

Tiger – https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/388365167840348945/

Girl with telescope – http://thegoldentelescopebook.com/testimonials/ © 2015 McLarty & Co Professional Corporation

Batman – http://www.mackrichardson.com/top-five-bad-ass-batman-comic-book-moments/  ©1969-2017 Mark Richardson

Road – http://www.clker.com/clipart-curving-road.html