Expected to be independent, yet underestimated when projecting their voice or intelligence… This timeless tale has been the story of teens and the explanation for the youth’s typically rebellious attitude. It is no wonder why the rising generation craves to provoke a reaction. People often view teen culture with contempt. Furthermore, as people grow older, their curious open minds fill with ignorance of genuine talent, passion, and vision of the younger demographic. #CantStopPop reacts to these notions as well as the idea that kids should be seen and not heard.
Pop-music is often trashed and criticized for a lack of complexity showcased by former musical movements. Pop-art is full of vibrant, candy colored graphic images commenting on superficial trends made attainable with mass production rather than masterpieces conveying elaborate metaphors, technical aspects, and arduous, tedious approaches associated with other movements. However, comparing one style to another does not determine its worth or validity. Pop-art and teen culture can stand independently for what they are without the context of irrelevant parties while offering entirely new ideas.
The Statements and Structure collection of #CantStopPop responds to this notion of teenage independence and expression by accompanying pop-art style with an inspirational message. By following the inspirational statements collaged within the works, the viewer can achieve the independence and iconic reverence of the depicted structures.
Imagery of the Sticky Mouse collection satirizes the condescension directed toward the the youth. People are ignorant of the work ethic, involvement, and talent behind the industry’s polished and young ambassadors. The Mickey Mouse, a symbol for juvenile innocence and child stardom, and chewing gum motifs reflect the negative connotations of “bubble gum” pop-culture. The soda pop and popped gum bubble imagery are more literal forms of word play used to mockingly address the perception of teen pop.
Although the Digital Light Writing collection reacts to pop-culture, it is more process oriented than conceptual. These pieces blend the traditional form of drawing with a digital media of the modern age. Snapchat, a popular app used for creative and simple communication, is a major platform used in the sequence of creating these works. This particular collection uses a device of pop-culture to convey pop-culture imagery while reacting to technology.
With the motif of experimentation in this collection, When We First Met is included. This particular piece draws inspiration from the 2013 Met Gala Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibit’s stylized mannequins. It is King Leo’s first “charcoal painting” juxtaposing glossy, bold colors to a grungy dust of texture. Teen culture may include the luminosity of pop concert marquees and magazine covers, but it also fuels the immortal punk-like attitude of the youth’s reaction to the previous generation.. how ironic that a culture defined by what is popular inspires us to think independently.