6 Contemporary Artists Who Are Keeping Pop Art Alive Today

Yoshitomo Nara

Tokyo-based artist Yoshitomo Nara produces playful paintings and sculptures of “pastel-hued children and animals drawn with confident, cartoonish lines.” Highly illustrative and undeniably inspired by anime, these figures are often accompanied by comicbook-like quotations—a key attribute of Pop Art masters like Roy Lichtenstein.

A major figure of the Japanese Pop Art movement of the 1990s, Nara continues to work in the recognizable style that characterizes his early work.

Pup King - Yoshitomo Nara + grafyoshitomo nara


Julian Opie

British artist Julian Opie is equally known for his minimalist sculptures and his graphic paintings that flirt with form and play with color. Distinctively outlined in black, these experimental line drawing portraits convey Pop Art's bold aesthetic and communicate its ability to make art accessible.

Like many other modern-day Pop Artists, Opie's signature style is rooted in the Neo-Pop movement of the 1980s. Showcasing ample inspirations—including, according to Lisson Gallery, “classical portraiture, Egyptian hieroglyphs and Japanese woodblock prints, as well as public signage, information boards and traffic signs”—his work distinctively puts a contemporary twist on age-old art forms.

Julian Opie 3Julian OpieBlur by Julian Opie

Takashi Murakami

With a career spanning fine art and commercial endeavors, multidisciplinary artist Takashi Murakami creates cartoon-esque works influenced by Japanese traditions. Coined “superflat,” his psychedelic style is characterized by a candy-colored palette and anime-inspired figures—including his iconic multicolored flowers.

In addition to painting and sculpture, Murakami dabbles in design, animation, fashion, and merchandise.

Takashi-murakamiTakashi MurakamiVacances Summer Vaccation in the Kingdom of the Golden

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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