“I always do things the wrong way, which is completely empty Territory.”
Peter Saul has been deemed the father of Pop Art and a successor to Surrealism. He is one of the most important artists of our time and a consistent “violator of good taste” in art.
He is the founder of the unique style of Bad Painting, which is characterized by a bright palette of colors and exaggerated distortion of images – a jubilant depiction of lawlessness and violence in society, which the artist sarcastically criticizes through his “indictments”.
In the 1950s, Saul introduced the iconic comic and cartoon characters, Superman and Donald Duck, to his expressionist paintings; in the mid-1960s, he devoted a series of anti-military works to the Vietnam War; and, in the 1970s, he created his own variations of Rembrant’s “The Night Watch” and Picasso’s “Guernica”, always returning to subjects drawn from mass media and art history.
Saul’s works, rambunctious and full of lush images and poisonous morality, portray a new reality by removing the mask of hypocrisy and exposing human vices, in such a way that can change our perception of history and the generally accepted understanding of social norms. As the originator of Pop Art, Saul embodied his ideas in an unprecedented style of painting that inspired a generation of American artists to new thinking and new creativity, which became the foundation of modern American culture.
The important thing is that a work has to look fresh, to be as original as possible. That means it has to have its own idea and psychology. I try to make it worth looking at, to turn it into a sensation.
True or false doesn’t matter at all as long as it’s disturbing or funny, because I love all psychology. Bad things make me laugh just as often as good things. This has been my art style for over 55 years.
I am open to any humor, except sophisticated humor. Too many good artists have sought after it. The secret of the success of a “bad” artist is in overcoming the need for approval. So, if you want “sublime” art, you better not call Saul.
Works by Peter Saul are found in the collections of leading museums around the world including: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Museum Ludwig (Köln), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), and MoMA (New York).