Visual Arts

The ZIP POP! pop-art show at Zip 37 closes this weekend

ZIP POP! at Zip 37 provides a scope into the phenomena of pop culture, and how art plays into the societal dialogue between humans and the world they create for themselves. Dana Cain, who juried the groups show, explains that pop art delves into the concept that "everything is art" by examining how art plays into common objects, products to media. It's connection has interested her for a long time.

"I grew up in the '60s, so I love Warhol, and the whole pop art bit," she says. "Denver is a mecca for pop art -- we have some pop art superstars in the show. When I was asked to jury a show at Zip, I thought about the fact that Zip already has some of the heavy hitters already, like Kym Bloom and Zoa Ace. Zip Pop seemed like a natural thing to do, a natural fit."

One of the featured artists, T.J. Raygun, explains that his art fits in well since he explores pop art in his method and is influenced by pop-art greats, like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstien. Raygun thinks pop art creates an introspective journey for civilization.

"Pop art comments on our society and really works to inform about what's going on around us, which people may not already be aware of," he says. "A lot of my art is commenting on pop culture and celebrities, as well as a wide range of other culturally iconic things and can really draw from different aspects and a wide range of society. It's hard to look at pop art and not find something that comments on people's everyday life."

Viewers will also have the chance to see Jo Welborn's piece, My Yolk is Heavy," which was awarded "Best in Show." Cain says that although the decision was tough, the piece (above) encompasses many of the elements she loves about pop art, including funky or strange details, like the smiley face gumballs in the yolk of the egg, and the bright and bold presentation.

The aspects of pop art are well-represented in the show, according to Cain, and work in unison to embolden a genre usually cast aside as "kitschy." To Cain, pop art has more intrinsic value than what might meet the eye.

"I think some people think of pop art as being sort of frivolous," she says. "But I think in this day and age, I don't want to see its the zenith of modern art, but it's all about reflecting everything in society -- Everything we make is art and nowadays everything is man-made. I think it's one of purist expressions of art."

ZIP POP! shows through July 1, at Zip 37 (3644 Navajo Street). For hours and more information, visit the Zip 37 web page.

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Tiffany Fitzgerald