Pop art was a movement that wasn't so much a style, as a shared viewpoint about the artist's modern environment. Some believe that pop art came about as a direct reaction against abstract impressionism. But the art is deeper than simply a rebellion; it allows a new perspective on culture. .
This perspective being the realization and acceptance of the twentieth century's commercial culture that emerged out of the Second World War in a need by the public to reinvent the way they see their ordinary lives. When President Roosevelt formed the Works Progress Administration in 1935 to help artists through the depression, it had a stimulating affect on the New York art scene. Artists could meet together and discuss, and soon they saw that you didn't need to go to Paris to paint, the artist simply needed to embrace his own confidence and knowledge and experience to produce fine art. Many European painters had been in New York at this point participating in the New York art scene, so when they returned home, many to England where simultaneously another independent pop art movement had started, there was a newfound reverence for American art, and culture. The enthusiastic, and ironic, paintings of these artists chose to embrace what the German called Capitalist Realism.
The artists chose to incorporate the mass media and this consumerism into their art, both celebrating it and critiquing it. These artists painted for the now, they didn't use an object, whether it be a symbol, person, or situation, until it was already well known to its audience in its usual setting. They highlighted not the commonplace in a painting, but the commonplace as a painting. .
Each artist in this movement had their own way to express their take on Capitalist Realism. One of the first English pop artists was Richard Hamilton, who defined pop art to him as, "popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and last, but not least, Big Business.