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An Introduction to Lowbrow Art and Pop Surrealism

Even some authors say the roots of the Lowbrow Movement began in the early 20th century. “Lowbrow Art” or “Pop Surrealism” is a visual underground Art Movement that arose in the California area in the late 1960’s.

Lowbrow art is rooted in comix, punk music, tattoo, graffiti and street art. This movement has a bit of dark side which is combined with the creatures with big eyes, but also have a colorful palette. Most lowbrow artworks are paintings, but there are also toys, digital art, and sculptures.

Awakening The Moon by Mark Ryden

Critics argued over Lowbrow for many years, not recognizing the “Lowbrow art movement” as an “art movement” in itself. However, the future of Lowbrow Art has rising after the Juxtapoz Magazine (first published in 1994) featured by Robert Williams. Juxtapoz gave Lowbrow artists a place to publish their works for make their voices heard.

Lowbrow art often has a sense of sarcastic humor. Cause Lowbrow Artists know the “rules” of art and consciously choose to disobey to this rules. We can see a lots of different icons of pop culture which is harmonied by the fairy tales in their artworks.

Todd Schorr

Lowbrow art movement most relevant name so far has to be Mark Ryden, an American painter who even earned the title of “The god-father of pop surrealism” by Interview Magazine. (2012).

Most famous Lowbrow Artists are :

  • Mark Ryden
  • Marion Peck
  • Robert Williams
  • Todd Schorr
  • Ray Caesar
  • Nicoletta Ceccoli
  • Alex Gross
  • Shag
  • Amy Sol
  • Greg Simkins

I can highly recommend to you if you’re interested in Lowbrow Art:

  • Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art by Kirsten Anderson.
  • Weirdo Deluxe: The Wild World of Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow Art by Matt Dukes Jordan.
  • Pop Surrealism – What A Wonderfool World by Dorothy Circus
Xanadu by Ray Caesar