Axelleration: Evelyne Axell 1964-1972 by Susanne Titz, Liesbeth Decan and Jean Antoine. Paperback book published by Lannoo Publishers 2011, 112 pages with colour illustrations (art works) and black and white and colour photographs.
Pop Art, as with many art genres of the 20th century and after, is one of those movements that from my experience can easily divide a room. I've encountered the anger and disgust of those who believe that anything beyond the early twentieth century, is not only bad art, but not art at all. I have a differing opinion to these nay sayers on the subject of modern artistic endeavors. Yes, I think that art is art... that includes Pop Art. I don't have to like it (… though I do have an enthusiasm for Pop Art), but that doesn't mean that it isn't art. Because of this outlandish(?) and at times unpopular opinion, I've often been put on the spot to justify art works that i've never seen and therefore obviously have no opinion about. Whether art works are seen or unseen, I tend to defend the right to make art in whatever form or style, despite not being an art critic or artist, and having a poor knowledge of modern art overall. I do have opinions... some of them quite strong... but this does not make me an expert and certainly does not make me a judge.*
It's a bit like music... actually it's exactly the same as music... you don't have to like everything (I certainly don't) but can have some sort of appreciation for something that whilst not to one's particular taste, is still a piece of music. It mightn't be something that I like or fully comprehend, a bit like quite a bit of this world, but that doesn't mean it's not music. Art is the same. Just because I don't like it, doesn't really mean much in the greater scheme of things.
Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand... Evelyne Axell was a Belgian Pop Artist who is “best known for her psychedelic, erotic paintings of female nudes and self-portraits on plexiglas that blend the hedonistic and Pop impulses of the 1960s”**. This book is an exhibition catalogue and contains many fine examples of bright/loud in your face examples of Evelyne's work. I don't know if I would describe a lot of her work as “erotic”, but nudity is certainly a theme in quite a bit of it. Despite having an appreciation for Pop Art whilst not being an expert on it or it's proponents, I wasn't really that familiar with the work of Evelyne Axell but this didn't stop me from picking up this book to sell. Pop Art has it's fans and it was this thought that enticed me to fork out the cash.
… and am I fan? Mmmm... not really.
* “I don't know about art, but I know what I like” The Cramps