Gary Hume

For me the greatest pleasure of Pop art is its cleanness and clarity. Visually it’s like putting cold water on your face. You don’t have to see the artist’s angst and, if you think about how Pop knocked Abstract Expressionism off its perch, it did it without dirtying its hands—which was a lovely thing after all that grime. It’s so eloquent in its shorthand for complexity. You realize that these are new icons for a new generation; they’re like saints, and they’re all things you can buy. And then you think: These are actually part of the Christian tradition of art-making. They start to become that because of consumerism as godhead. It’s no surprise that Warhol was Catholic.

And of course Pop art is now over. Nobody can make it anymore. It’s the past, and it’s such a delicious, complicated, clever past that we can still sort of have; if you go and buy a Brillo box and put it in your kitchen,

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