Was there any strong movement that describes society after Pop Art? You cannot find such a movement, even if you pore over the history of Contemporary Art. However, the answer is closer than you think: It is Punk. I know existent art history cannot deal with the Punk movement as an Art Movement, but Punk does not have to mean the Sex Pistols — i.e., a victim of corporate media.
There was a strain of Punk which displayed early on slogans like “Punk is Dead” and “Anarchy and Peace.” They called themselves “Crass.” People who viewed the artwork of Crass saw intense monochrome images. The group penned the song “Nagasaki Nightmare” as well as showcasing collages made with photographs of Nagasaki after the dropping of the Atomic Bomb — collages made by Gee Vaucher.
U.K. British Pop Art founder Richard Hamilton made the signature Pop Art collage “Just What Is It that Makes Today´s Homes So Different, So Appealing?” Pop Artists like Richard Hamilton, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein painted the world view of “Before” the Apocalypse. Pop Art’s primary content involved the future of mass consumerism — that was the primary subject matter. But this was “Before.”
The “After” apocalyptic monochrome images were created by Gee Vaucher. Those images are shouting, “Daily life which is colorful and happy is at an end. We get invoved in the games of Capitalists and die beggars in the colorless black-and-white world that has soaked up radioactive fallout.”
There is a whole history of Punk Before Punk. Dadaist John Heartfield created his grievous collage images against Nazism in Germany, the period of Hitler’s tyranny. Today, Gee Vaucher exposes monstrous worlds that lie behind the media landscapes of false “Happiness.” She shows us scenes nobody wants to see: the pornography of dead soldiers dying for their country, Margaret Thatcher covered with excrement.
There is an absolute reason to fear these images because they shriek out the truth. People who control the world disseminate images of counterfeit “Happiness”, “Beauty” and “God.” Such brutal people uphold a marketplace advertising vulgar superficial beauty, thus destroying the history of art itself. If “Happiness”, “Beauty” and “God” are the official corporate subject matter, true artists must raise an objection to those.
The Living Spirit of Punk, Dada & Surrealism must continue to exist, unlocking and freeing the dominant spirit of Anti-Authoritarianism from the official false history of beauty. Those who have time to worship trifling Contemporary Art are free to try mental masturbation with the pornographic image of a dead fallen soldier in war (“Still Life with Nude”) by Gee Vaucher. . .
(edited by V. Vale)