During a time of pain, war and suffering Pop Art came as a form of relief to the American people. Developing in the 1960s, Pop artists worked to capture the attention of Americans living in a world of crisis. Events such as the Cuban Missile crisis and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy inspired Pop artists to offer their American audience a more uplifting image. The lack of seriousness in the artwork of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Claes Oldenburg attracted an audience. When the American viewers worried about world events, they needed an outlet to relieve this; the outlet became Pop Art. Pop Art was not only responsive to its historical context, it was economically beneficial. Its rejection of art forms such as Abstract Expressionism and Modernism also boosted the support. Expressionism and Modernism had focused on topics that common people of the 1960s could not understand. On the other hand, Pop Art used items and images that most Americans recognized and loved. Because of all of these characteristics, Pop Art became a revolutionary yet simple art form that paved the way for future artistic entrepreneurs.
Sex, money and fame were popular subjects in mass-media during the 1960s. Truman Capote used these ideas as reoccurring themes in his fiction and non-fiction works. Characters in his books have the desire for all of these superficial needs and are willing to sacrifice their identities in order to attain them. Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s uses her sexuality as a means of reaching fame and fortune. Holly prostitutes herself in return for the satisfaction of reaching these goals. In the end, Holly is left alone without even her own identity. Facing the chaos that she has created in her own life, Holly chooses to run away rather than resolve her problems. Capote’s books have abrupt endings lacking a sort of resolution, much like the journey of each of his characters.
Major Work Consulted:
Capote, Truman. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. England: Penguin, 1968.
Capote, Truman. Answered Prayers. New York: Random, 1987.
In Cold Blood. New York: Random House, 1965.
De Salvo, Donna & Schimmel, Paul. Hand Painted Pop American Art in transition 1955-1962. New York: Rizzoli, 1992.
Rublowsky, John. Pop Art. New York: Basic, 1965.