Located in the subdistrict of Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland, the Sandycove Martello Tower is one of the 50 tower built by the British in the country.
The constructions were an outcome of a defense Act against the Napoleon’s Bonaparte invasion, in the XIX century.
Scenario of diverse histories, nowadays Sandycove tower is known worldwide because it is the place that James Joyce has chosen to be the opening of the story of his masterpiece, Ulysses.
Joyce had the opportunity to stay a few days in the tower, invited by a friend that has rented it. That is the reason why the place holds the writer’s museum, dedicated to his life and work.
Who was James Joyce (1882-1941)?
One of the most famous Irish writers, beside Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Bram Stocker.
He is also one of the more important writers of the XX century. University of Dublin was his College, and he dedicated his to the art of writing.
Language, religion and nationality were inherent parts of his soul.
He found inspiration in Ibsen and Hauptmann, while considering the Irish literature too parochial.
During his life, he lived in different European countries. In Paris, France, he studied medicine; in Trieste, Italy, he married and had two children; in Zurich, Germany, he began to publish the first chapters of Ulysses, on newspapers.
The majority of his literary production was published gradually in different newspapers, as novels.
There is no doubt: Ulysses is his masterpiece. It is a narrative about the specific day, 16th of June, 1904, of Leopold Bloom.
During 19 hours, the protagonist lives a series of happenings in real locals of Dublin. The remarkable fact is that the writer does analogy to the Odyssey, a famous Greek epic poem of Homero; not only relating the characters but also about the story facts.
Polemic, Ulysses was prohibited a lot of times, due to the explicit descriptions of sexual body functions.
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Pop art is the climax of Art, it is a synthesis of everything that we can name by Art. It is a fact that Art reflects the world; Pop Art does it in a literal way. Paradoxically, it is an alive metalanguage of the reality.
And why is it so interesting? The study of Art reveals human traces and characteristics that allow us to have a better understanding of reality and ourselves. Gramatically, the name is a proper noun.
It all begins in 1955, in a post-second World War context. Industrialized, the North American society faced the mass production and media boom.
This was the beginning of the globalization, that enabled a worldwide divulgation of ideas, and great artists as Marylin Monroe, Beatles, and Elvis Presley.
Pop Art is created in this scenario of mixed elements: a miscellanea of styles composing an Art pattern.
Most of the Pop Art artists had a background in the commercial Art world.
Due to this fact, they have flown in between popular images and high culture art, to break the limits among them.
Even using common images from popular culture, the Art style under discussion enabled a wide range of styles.
Yet, there was the main theme: the violence trauma of humankind.
The key idea of this movement was to break the social class division of the Art; until that moment it was just accessible to the high society.
Supposedly, Art should be a creative tool to enquire social patterns and stereotypes. Although, it had always served the highest purposes of them.
Pop Art utilized the media and mass culture as a way of spreading art itself into different social classes. Thereby, artistic and contemporary references became accessible for almost everyone.
Some Art critics read it as a reinforcement of the capitalist pattern of selling goods. Others, interpret it as a social critique, once it elevated the ordinary mass Art to a high standard.
At the end of the day, both sides were right.
Among all the artists that compose the Pop Art generation, Andy Warhol is the one that embodies it in the most literal way. Its major source of inspiration is advertising, comics, television and movie stars.
The Campbells Soup Cans panel reveals the dual effect of the Pop Art concept. The product`s design and colors were inspired by the Cornell football team, that turned out to be the brand’s core identity.
The repetition of the cans shows how commodities are exposed into society, with a call-to-action designed and conceptualized. It is art is used to sell, and, at the same time, the art itself depending on the market to exist.
“The reason I’m painting this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do… If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, there I am. There’s nothing behind it.” Andy Warhol
Another of his masterpieces is Marylin Diptych. A pattern, with a picture of Marilyn Monroe, repeated through a panel. The colorful image fades to the right side, what depicts the fame ephemerality.
Pop Art enabled to lower classes the access to Art, at the same time that it was reinforcing the capitalism.
Paradoxically, it brought a new concept of art that allowed, in a revolutionary way, to change the way society perceived it ownself.
The development of technology, the main tool of humankind, allows it to evolve.
Yet, it is Art that provides everyone a deeper reflection about reality. Hence, instead of reacting to facts, one becomes a creator of its own reality.
Pop Art is contradictory by excellence; it is everything, meanwhile, nothing.
It reveals the world itself and its unpredictability. When it shows that everything is connected, it reflects the essence of existence.
Do you like languages? Check out the Portuguese Version of this text, translated by the own author.