Today’s work of art may be one of the strangest pieces I’ve highlighted here, and may in fact stretch the definition of what actually constitutes “art.” The piece, or rather pieces, were designed by a human artist, but were painted by a robot, dubbed “Vangobot,” no doubt a reference to Vincent Van Gogh. The title of the work is a literal one, 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.
Pop Art Machine is an experimental art suite that renders complex vectors portraying many different brush sizes, paint layers and brush handling techniques. The results can be printed but also physically painted with acrylics on canvas using a specialized CNC based robot named Vangobot.
There’s even a short video of Vangobot in action, painting.
There are fifteen different versions of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, of which I’ve featured seven of them here. As far as I can tell, the names of each version have something to do with either their color scheme or an association made from that color.
At the Pop Art Machine website there are over 20,000 paintings done by Vangobot.
Pop art is a visual art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist’s use of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is contiguous with the perspective of fine art. Pop removes the material from its context and isolates the object, or combines it with other objects, for contemplation. The concept of pop art refers not as much to the art itself as to the attitudes that led to it.
Pop art is an art movement of the twentieth century. Characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects, pop art is widely interpreted as a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism, as well as an expansion upon them. Pop art, aimed to employ images of popular as opposed to elitist culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any given culture, most often through the use of irony. It is also associated with the artists’ use of mechanical means of reproduction or rendering techniques.
Much of pop art is considered incongruent, as the conceptual practices that are often used make it difficult for some to readily comprehend. Pop art and minimalism are considered to be the last Modern Art movements and thus the precursors to postmodern art, or some of the earliest examples of Postmodern Art themselves.
Pop art often takes as its imagery that which is currently in use in advertising. Product labeling and logos figure prominently in the imagery chosen by pop artists. Consider the Campbell’s Soup Cans labels, by Andy Warhol. Even the labeling on the shipping carton containing retail items has been used as subject matter in pop art. Consider Warhol’s Campbell’s Tomato Juice Box 1964, (pictured below), or his Brillo Soap Box sculptures.
Some of the most well-known Pop Artists include Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns and Keith Haring (who was born in Reading, PA but grew up in nearby Kutztown; I had his uncle as my art teacher in high school).
All fifteen versions of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall can be downloaded in the high resolution size of 3600 × 3406 so it can be printed fairly large, perhaps large enough to fill your wall.