Pop art

Pauline Boty- The Mother Of Pop Art (And She’s Not American)

Magda Michalska 29 September 2016 min Read

Surprise, surprise, Pop Art did not begin in the States in the sixties but in the United Kingdom, and already in 1952. Everything started with Eduardo Paolozzi's series of collages "Bunk" in which he used pieces of American advertisements and comic strips. But today I'm not going to talk about Paolozzi, but the first British Pop Art artist who was a female. Sadly, Pauline Boty was also the only female in the entire movement in Britain.

It's a man's world

[caption id="attachment_1755" align="aligncenter" width="397"]Pauline Boty, It's A Man's World II, 1965 Pauline Boty, It's A Man's World II, 1965[/caption] And this fact definitely was an obstacle. Boty, who was an attractive blonde and talented actress, was often patronized by male co-artists and critics. She did not get as much attention as her male Pop friends and the press didn't help either: magazine Scene remarked on Boty in November 1962  that "actresses often have tiny brains. Painters often have large beards. Imagine a brainy actress who is also a painter and also a blonde, and you have PAULINE BOTY."

Sexy MM

[caption id="attachment_1754" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Pauline Boty, Colour Her Gone, 1962 Pauline Boty, Colour Her Gone, 1962[/caption] This difficult position made Boty try to address the perception of women in her art. Her works often focused on female body and presented it from a perspective of a woman artist. Similarly to Andy Warhol, Boty used the press photos of celebrities - both male and female- and incorporated them in her art. Marylin Monroe was one of such stars and her tragic death in 1962 inspired Boty to create works which touched upon such issues like discrepancies between a real person and an artistic persona, or sexualization of women and their images in the media.

Dead and Forgotten

[caption id="attachment_1756" align="aligncenter" width="481"]Pauline Boty, With Love To Jean-Paul Belmondo, 1962 Pauline Boty, With Love To Jean-Paul Belmondo, 1962[/caption] Boty's life ended untimely. When she became pregnant with her daughter, she was diagnosed with cancer during a prenatal exam. She refused to terminate the pregnancy and did not accept chemotherapy because it could harm the baby. Her child was born in February and Pauline died in July of the same year 1966. Her work was stored in a barn by her brother and her art remained forgotten for many years.

Find out more:

[easyazon_image align="none" height="160" identifier="0947642307" locale="US" src="https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/51yQ2WdULLL.SL160.jpg" tag="dailyartdaily-20" width="127"]   [easyazon_image align="none" height="160" identifier="0950989622" locale="US" src="https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/51tELDMeDHL.SL160.jpg" tag="dailyartdaily-20" width="143"]   [easyazon_image align="none" height="160" identifier="B01LP7QKY6" locale="US" src="https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/5123TxRrtNL.SL160.jpg" tag="dailyartdaily-20" width="127"]

Recommended

Pop art

Rosalyn Drexler: Wrestling Feminist in the Pop Art World

Rosalyn Drexler is an American artist born in the Bronx, New York, in 1926. She attended the High School of Music and Art in New York City before...

Guest Profile 13 June 2021

Pop art

10 Masterpieces of 20th Century Pop Art You Should Know

Dominating the 20th century with iconic imagery, Pop Art’s effects on the art world are still being felt today. Here are 10 of the most significant...

Guest Profile 12 June 2021

Pop art

Andy Warhol: Religious Artist for a Secular Society

When I first saw a photo of Andy Warhol he was in a wig and wearing lipstick, I thought what an interesting woman. And he was of course one of the...

Marina Kochetkova 6 August 2022

Pop art

Remembering Keith Haring, Our Rainbow Angel

Today, we are celebrating the LGBTQ+ community by remembering Keith Haring, a brilliant artist whose vigorous and thoughtful works have inspired...

Guest Profile 2 June 2022