Warhol would refer to his productions of the time as “Business Art”, entering an era in which the artist became consumed with the idea of mirroring corporate practices within the visual arts. This transition might be considered natural taking into account his education and background in advertising; however, at the time, this brazen Warholian conception of commercialisation and monetisation of art practices was met with criticism. In Victor Bockris’ “The Life of Death of Andy Warhol” a drunken encounter with Willem De Koonig at a party in 1962 is described in which the abstract expressionist reportedly told his Pop Art nemesis: “You’re a killer of art, you’re a killer of beauty, and you’re even a killer of laughter“. Embracing capitalism, Warhol’s body of “Business Art” harshly confronted American commodity culture and shaped the art market as we know it today. In essence, pop art was promoted and publicised just like any other consumer product at the time. Appropriating the same strategies as seen in consumer culture, Pop artists also directly depicted consumer imagery, establishing an artistic production and creativity as a commodity that directly referenced consumer products and culture. Warhol’s “Green Coca-Cola Bottles” (1962), one of the earlier silkscreen paintings, displays multiple single images of Coca-Cola bottles aligned in seven regular rows arranging sixteen bottles across the canvas. Its repetitive pattern and standardised format are highly evocative of industrial processes. The brand Coca-Cola, known to everyone inside and outside the elitist art world, made it possible for the broader public to relate to an artwork. Its recognisability was affirmed through the utilisation of commonly known symbols, democratising art for the very first time.
Moreover, as seen in Rotella’s photo emulsions which subjects often depicted pivotal moments in the history of the time, such as the first astronaut’s walk in space as seen in “L’astronaute” (1966), Pop art served as a vehicle to comment on politics. “What was important, I believe, was to get away from abstract art, which was very present in galleries, and do something that was corresponding to the time in which we were living” (Joan Rabascall). While its subjects were not always necessarily direct depictions of political imagery, pop artists mirrored and critiqued a newly present culture of mass media that utilised imagery and language as a manipulative and capitalistic instrument.