POP ART GIANT FALLS
Pop sculptor Claes Oldenburg has been buried under a larger-than-life tombstone, aged 93. The most prominent European associated with the US pop art movement (he was a Swede who immigrated to the States at a young age), a stint as a journalist saw him report on an old man who accrued umpteen trinkets. This story fueled Oldenburg’s own interest in the mundane minutiae of life and the crux of his artistic career. His body of work was full of gargantuan sculptures of everyday objects ranging from clothespins to hamburgers, typically achieved via a “soft sculpture” construction method that eschewed harder material in favour of vinyl and kapok. These works sometimes carried a stark political message, such as a giant lipstick atop tank tracks devised as a hub for students to discuss anti-Vietnam sentiment. He received a number of art gongs through the years, but perhaps the ultimate honour came in 2015 when a street artist turned part of his Paint Torch sculpture into the poop emoji. Scandinavians theme team Ikea Nokia Logo is off the mark while All Death Is Consolation amasses a third hit.
28 January 1929 – 18 July 2022, aged 93
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