Artist Kat Alyst Pays Tribute to Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Fast Food, and More

Debates may arise from claims that Pop art reached its peak in the 1960s, but with recent work from present day in 2021—Pop art is ever evolving. Emerging in the 1950s in the UK and USA, Pop art was known to cause multiple uproars in comparison to the traditions of fine art. Imagery from popular culture, such as print advertising, comic books, and mass-produced items quickly became spectacles for décor and purchases to mainstream audiences. 

Emerging artist, Kat Alyst, pays tribute to some of the most popular masters from the Pop art era. Soup cans and Ben-Day dots quietly breathe shadow and texture behind a portrait of morphed American icons. The figure wears a blue jean cut off top, along with familiar crown adorned on top of a red hairstyle—much of which resembles a perfect match hypothetically as if Marilyn Monroe and fast food clown, Ronald McDonald had a baby themselves. 

A family-sized bucket of fried chicken and 44oz drink from “America’s drive In” is clutched by the figure’s poorly manicured hands, giving viewers a slight reveal of a banana tattoo upon the hand, lap full of additional fried foods, and possibly a blood splatter or hint of a ketchup stain on the denim garment.

With closer look, another tattoo peeks in alongside the arm that says “baby”, and more obviously in view, the name “Andy” with a classic heart-shape tattoo on the neck makes a statement as well. We can see half of a cockroach from beneath garment and protrudes on top of the collarbone for a seemingly “ick” factor. One lit cigarette gently hangs out of the mouth, and another ode to Pop art is made with one, small tear drop in view.

The gaze is met with a very Monroe appeal, and leaves wonder abound for the juxtaposition of a multi-world collision in frame. Is Alyst discussing different classes in one America? Is the statement simply about overindulgence alone? The contrast of mixed personas tightly holding up popular logos throughout American fast food chains with a firm grip may be saying more than meets the eye. 

Alyst is known for her stylized and colorful artwork, so it could simply be an expansion of her own aesthetic through the lens of Pop art that meets her rural Texas upbringing. Decide for yourself and view this piece in person at the opening of Group Show: Pop Art & Trashy, debuting November 6th, 2021 with The Shockboxx Gallery. Get your hands on the rising star’s piece—which comes framed and matted for shipping. View on Artsy.com here for more information. 

G Gulati

G Gulati is an Author, Celebrity Interviewer, Global Personal Branding & Brand Engagement Consultant known for his experience and ability to help individuals build head-turning brands that attract opportunities. Gulati has authored 5 books, and his idea of a fun day is writing, listening to audible books and decoding personal brands through interviews and polls.

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