So I went and saw the latest show at Jonathan Levine Gallery the other night and it got me thinking about what it is he's showing there, and what it is that Juxtapoz champions. I find it hard to think of this as Pop Art (Pop-Art was using items of popular culture to address larger conceptual issues), but it does draw from and is influenced by popular media.
Thinking back about the Pop Art movement of the 1960's the artists seemed to be affected by the graphic quality of advertising and graphic design, and the comics of the era. What is so interesting about this Neo Pop movement is the fact that it champions illustration and stylization. There is something about this that does not feel like an embrace of popular culture, and I can't imagine this as lowbrow art, as I have heard it termed. The work seems too crafted for that.
What is interesting is that it takes all the craft of illustration, and removes the narration for the most part, rather presenting settings. The images of Jeff Soto come to mind.
I am not sure exactly where I am going with this except for the fact that I found it very interesting. I am not sure I feel about this movement, and I feel like a lot of street art is tied to it. I hope there is a way for all of this to transcend style and really address substance.