Teresa Burga

Was ‘pop art’ a term used by yourself or colleagues or was there a different terminology that referred to a new figurative art movement in the 1960s and early 1970s?

My colleagues and I used the term ‘pop art’ to describe the new imagery that was being created, and at that time we didn’t use any other terminology or special definition to describe the movement which we consistently turned to from the 1960s until the beginning of the 1970s.

Did you ever consider yourself (now or in the past) a pop artist?

Ever since I started using pop imagery and iconography, I considered myself to be a pop artist.

Did your work engage with current events in the 1960s and early 1970s?

It was common in those days to work with popular images and actions that could happen every day in every part of the city and that related to commercial and manufacturing activity.

How did you choose the subject matter for your work included in The World Goes Pop?

I recognise the importance of including a work in The World Goes Pop, but to be faithful to my own contribution to the movement, the selection of the individual parts making up the work need to be made totally at random. Just as it was in the selection of the themes, images and colours.

Where did you get your imagery from (what, if any, sources did you use)?

The imagery was drawn from materials found in local markets selling textiles and other products.

Were you aware of pop art in other parts of the world?

Yes, I was aware that pop art was developing in London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St Louis, New York and Buenos Aires.

Was commercial art an influence on your work or the way in which it was made?

It was as much from commercial art as images that came out of industrial manufacturing. Similarly images found in city centres both directly influenced and drew their themes from pop art.

Was there a feeling at the time that you doing something important and new, making a change…?

There was a feeling that we were doing something important and new for global artistic activity of the 1960s, but this feeling only applied to those artists creating and involved in pop art, not to the critics or the art galleries.

Was there an audience for the work at the time – and if so what was their reaction to it?

Yes, there was an audience interested in pop art, but of course [the majority were] totally against the presentation of pop art, they considered pop imagery totally repetitive in its forms and styles, with no novelty in its choice of imagery, and that it didn’t reveal anything new in terms of iconography and language.

Looking back at these works, what you do think about them now?

I’m still interested in this period as it represents a special time in all the arts, fashion, music, dance, theatre and movies.

September 2015