Post Pop @ Saatchi

There is so much to see at the Saatchi Gallery right now that it is impossible to know where to begin. The incumbent exhibition, Post Pop: East Meets West is full to the brim with modern gems to keep the keen gallery-goer entertained for hours.

The display boasts 250 works from American, British, Chinese and Former Soviet artists. It seems like an odd mix yet it blends together surprisingly well with the sophisticated cohesion of a good runway collection. The art is bright and bold. It packs a punch, and certainly isn’t for the faint hearted. There are no sugar-free options here!

All of the artwork on display was made in the 1980s and 90s and is a homage and return to the renowned pop art of the 1950s and 60s. The show is ready to appeal to everyone. Big brand names, basketballs and video games all feature as well as reworked altarpieces and a giant sexualized rabbit dubbed ‘Spaghetti Man’ by its creator Paul McCarthy.

Amongst the displays are paintings and sculptures by the likes of Jeff Koons and Ai WeiWei as well as less famous artists referencing the work of Andy Warhol and co on every floor of the exhibition, which takes over the whole of the gallery. On display are updated depictions of Chairman Mao and reworked branding in the form of Malevich in the place of Marlboro cigarettes as well as Lenin’s own brand of Coca-Cola. As well as advertising covering the walls there are posters provocatively asking the viewer whether they have sold their soul.

The show is a nod to globalization as it is often impossible to distinguish from which region each artwork came from. However it was the Chinese work that really caught my eye, particularly a revamped version of the northern renaissance altarpieces, whose characters have been replaced with their modern Chinese counterparts.

This exhibition simply cannot be missed. It is the kind of display that you can take the less artistically inclined friend of yours, the one who is always denouncing art as boring: I can promise you that they won’t want to leave. In fact I am going to go again, and probably multiple times in the New Year too!

Post Pop: East meets West is on display at Saatchi Gallery until 23 February 2015

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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