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Pop-Culture Art: Classics Get A Nerdy Makeover

Artists give their own take on well-loved characters

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Since the days of Andy Warhol, art and pop-culture have gone hand in hand, and it seems like there’s been a definite surge in the merging of the two in recent years. The popularity of memes combined with access to basically anything on the internet means artists are getting cheeky with their works, to great effect.

Artists like Dave MacDowell and Shaunna Peterson have built successful careers around their artwork, which centers on their take on various pop-culture themes. MacDowell does everything from melding familiar movie characters with memes to spinning out hilarious versions of film posters. His most familiar work has made it’s way around the web and onto shows like Last Call With Carson Daly and is inspired by the film “The Big Lebowski”.

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Shaunna Peterson has taken her favorite things from film and books and created whimsical advertisements that evoke an old-world feel, painting on everything from canvas to wood and metal. She sites her biggest inspirations as Kustom Kulture and Mad Magazine, as well as nature (Shaunna is an avid photographer and has captured gorgeous shots of the flora and fauna around her home in California).

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Peterson says that pop culture is so big in the art world because it’s something we can all identify with.

“It puts us on common ground together. I think there’s also the nostalgia factor. It’s fun to include little bits of these identifiable icons into artwork, almost like encapsulating them in time. It’s funny because my four-year old is obsessed with Ghostbusters…I mean obsessed. That movie is 30 years old now, but something about Stay Puft and Slimer still captures the imagination today.”

Artist Hillary White is making a name for herself among her pop-culture peers with her “re-imagined” paintings, which have been sweeping the web lately. Taking classic works of fine art and incorporating nerd heroes such as Batman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Ridley Scott’s Alien, White intones a sense of humor in the famous works of others.

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White says she enjoyes working in all media and has amassed an impressive body of work, which is available to view on her site.

Pop-Culture Art: Classics Get A Nerdy Makeover
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