This piece of pop art was one of my favorite works that we discussed. I can remember the day we went to the Tate Britain. I was exhausted, filled with pent up frustration at how long the tube ride was and how long I stood outside the museum waiting for the stragglers of our group. I loved the work of the Romantics, but when the group tour was over, I wanted to get out of there.

However, on my obligatory walk through, I couldn’t help but stop in front of Hamilton’s work. I was fascinated with how he used found images to imitate a 3-dimensional space. I loved how busy and chaotic the room was; that too seemed to reflect materialist social practices. Using found images was meant to “objectify” the piece, a reaction to the surrealism of the early 19th century. I was certainly more drawn into an examination of this picture than I am of Synthetic Cubism.

The man and woman in this piece are meant to draw attention to our society’s obsession with physical perfection. The beauty of these people, unlike the beauty of Roman sculptural figures, is debased by the lollipop and the lurid, unnatural pose of the woman. The amalgam of images reveals the unnatural environment in which they live. Because these pieces come from images prevalent in the culture, we can understand that the people of that era also lived in an unnatural environment. Even though the found images aren’t what appears in current visual advertising, the fact that such images continue to surround and invade our everyday lives shows that Hamilton’s work still has relevance today.

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