“I always do things the wrong way, which is completely empty Territory.”
Peter Saul has been deemed the father of Pop Art and a successor to Surrealism. He is one of the most important artists of our time and a consistent “violator of good taste” in art.
He is the founder of the unique style of Bad Painting, which is characterized by a bright palette of colors and exaggerated distortion of images – a jubilant depiction of lawlessness and violence in society, which the artist sarcastically criticizes through his “indictments”.
In the 1950s, Saul introduced the iconic comic and cartoon characters, Superman and Donald Duck, to his expressionist paintings; in the mid-1960s, he devoted a series of anti-military works to the Vietnam War; and, in the 1970s, he created his own variations of Rembrant's The Night Watch and Picasso's Guernica, always returning to subjects drawn from mass media and art history.
Saul's works, rambunctious and full of lush images and poisonous morality, portray a new reality by removing the mask of hypocrisy and exposing human vices, in such a way that can change our perception of history and the generally accepted understanding of social norms. As the originator of Pop Art, Saul embodied his ideas in an unprecedented style of painting that inspired a generation of American artists to new thinking and new creativity, which became the foundation of modern American culture.
It will likely take me months to digest all the lessons I've learned from The Met Breuer's newest exhibition, Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy, so it's a good thing that the show stays open through January.
In 1974, Black Panthers artist Emory Douglas created a portrait of Gerald Ford, America's 38th president, being pulled by puppet strings held by giant corporations. A speech bubble had Ford saying: 'I Gerald Ford am the 38th puppet of the United States.'
You certainly can’t mistake Peter Saul for any other artist. Splurges of lime green or spaghetti sauce red, gross caricatures of politicians, flamboyant sexual fantasies … His art is the American dream pumped up and injected with steroids, served with a hot dog and a tube of mustard coloured acrylic.