In art school, Robert was introduced to Pop Art by his British-Canadian painting instructor John Clark. Pop Art borrowed imagery from mass produced sources, (comics, ads, movies, as well as sensational tabloid imagery of crime and violence), to portray a society with a short attention span bombarded with banal, fearful and distracting messages. In this collage, Robert shows the character Popeye, whose name conveniently contains the word Pop, as a hero who has trouble navigating such simple modern devices as a drinking straw. For added humour, Robert has placed an actual bandaid over Popeye’s injured eye. Popeye is squeezed between the mugshots of a real-life criminal, who wears large round-rimmed glasses. It is as if the collage is asking, can our fictional heroes live up to the challenges of real-life problems?
Popeye & Criminal Collage