Father of Pop Art

Richard Hamilton, whose death was announced this week in England at 89, may have been one of the first pop artists.

His playful 1956 collage, “Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?” featuring body builders a living room with a canned ham, TV and reel to reel tape recorder, and a pre-Lichtenstein Young Romance cover as art on the wall, also prominently had the word POP in it as the flexing dude in black and white carries a giant sized Tootsie Pop as if it were half a barbell.

The influential image would go on to influence a generation of artists and put Hamilton on the way to one of England’s most prominent 20th century artists.

Many people have a Hamilton in their collection even if they don’t know it. He was the one who designed the untitled double album “The Beatles” in a solid glossy white with embossed name and individually numbered that would forever become known as the White Album. He also put together the collage poster, pictured right, that came with most vinyl copies and had the lyrics printed on the back.

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