There are countless popular American artists that have captured the hearts of art lovers both past and present. Throughout the various movements in art, there have been those who stood out above the rest in America’s melting pot society. The following list is only a glimpse of all of the artists America has produced over the years, and for many years to come.
When it comes to paintings, Normal Rockwell is the quintessential American artist.
We have all seen his paintings throughout America and the world at large. Rockwell’s most popular works reflect an idyllic view on American society and daily life, though in his later years he delved into the darker parts of American society.
Rockwell’s painting techniques are beautiful and quite lifelike. His own form of realism often creates a harmonic depiction of the daily lives of Americans. His work was dismissed often in his own lifetime, and even modern critics today dislike his idealist view of America. Whatever you believe of the feeling of his art, though, there is no denying that he was a prolific artist, and his works endure to this day.
One of the only two on this list who is not a visual artist (in the traditional sense), Michael Jackson is viewed as the King of Pop worldwide. His musicianship has withstood the test of time, and his popularity has only skyrocketed since his tragic death in 2009.
When he finally ventured into solo music, he found his footing as an artist, eventually creating “Thriller” and the subsequent music video, colloquially known as “Michael Jackson’s Thriller.” With this release, Michael not only changed pop music forever, but he even revolutionized the creation of music videos with the mini-film music video format.
Michael Jackson’s contributions to American artistry, both in music and video, will live on for the rest of time. The music industry worldwide was never the same after Michael stepped on the scene.
Andy Warhol was a visionary artist and a foremost contributor to the art movement of pop art. His creations focus primarily on the concept of the celebrity, as well as advertising and artistic expression. His bright, vibrant art revolutionized the pop art movement worldwide.
One of his most popular and enduring works, called Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) is, to this day, an incredibly popular piece. It seems simplistic on paper, and the seemingly blatant commercialism of the piece directly opposed the popular abstract style of the time. The controversy he caused with this “non painterly” work shot him to fame, and many of his other notable works are similarly controversial.
His other most notable work, Marilyn Diptych (1962), was and still is highly praised. The bright colours juxtaposed with the black and white photos of Marilyn Monroe have been said to represent the life and death of one of the most iconic figures in film and print.
Even in death, Warhol boosted the visual arts field. All of his worldly possessions were donated or auctioned, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts began. His legacy endures throughout the world.
Mary Cassatt is one of the most famous American painters of all time, and one of the most famous female painters as well. Her best and most notable works come from the peak of the Impressionist movement, of which she is named as one of the leading artists.
Her works often focused on women and female bonds, something that was not widely discussed in the art world at the time. Her beautiful style and poignant subjects make her works some of the most enduring American art around the world.
The second non “traditional” artist on this list, Stanley Kubrick is a renowned director and cinematographer who revolutionized filmmaking. His dark humour, unique cinematography, curious subject matter, and evocative use of music make his films some of the greatest of the 20th century – and still today.
Kubrick’s films, a visual art form in itself, completely turned filmmaking and directing on its head, pushing the boundaries of film farther than ever before. Because of Mr. Kubrick’s work, new film styles all around the world have spawned.
This list is not exhaustive in the slightest. America’s artists have profoundly affected global culture, and will continue to do so. These virtuosos are but a few of the best and brightest of America’s art scene, past and present.