During the late 1950s and 1960s the British art school environment was a breeding ground for artistic innovation. Challenging the traditional hierarchies between high and low culture, it evolved a culture of bohemianism and ease against a backdrop of rising economic affluence and pop optimism. Art students’ openness to the relevance of all creative experience – as propagated by figures such as Richard Hamilton – led to a promiscuous intermingling of ideals across the disciplines of fine art, fashion, design, and pop music.

Richard Hamilton, 'Swingeing London 67 (f)' 1968-9

Richard Hamilton
Swingeing London 67 (f) 1968–9
Acrylic, collage and aluminium on canvas
support: 673 x 851 mm frame: 848 x 1030 x 100 mm
Tate. Purchased 1969
© The estate of Richard Hamilton

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Hamilton’s Swingeing London 67 (f) 1968–9 emblematises this culture of convergence. Hamilton’s use of an appropriated image of the gallerist Robert Fraser handcuffed to the foppish Rolling Stones front-man Mick Jagger following their appearance in court on drugs charges comments on the processes of mass mediation as a defining characteristic of the modern age.

His direct influence as a tutor to figures including Bryan Ferry – de facto leader of Roxy Music, the ultimate art-school pop group – is examined in Tate Liverpool’s exhibition Glam! The Performance of Style.

Glam! The Performance of Style is the first exhibition to explore glam style and sensibility in-depth and is on at Tate Liverpool 8 February – 12 May 2013.