Curated Exhibitions > Pop Smoke at Oceanside Museum of Art

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Pop Smoke Curated by Amber Zora
Exhibition: August 13, 2022 – January 15, 2023.
Oceanside Museum of Art | Oceanside, CA.

How do we define veteran art? Are artists who served in the military required to center the story of their military service within the artwork they produce? How have other “veteran artists'' like Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns transcended the veteran title? This exhibition seeks to open up dialogue around these questions while exploring veteran art making practices in ways that are playful, tongue in cheek, and ironic.

Pop Smoke is a survey of veteran artists who utilizes bright colors, basic shapes, commonplace images or repetitive means of production within their art making practice.

Several early Pop Movement artists served in the armed forces during WWII and the Korean War. This exhibition is a nod to those early veteran pop artists as we turn our attention to veteran artists who continue to use similar moods. I ask the audience to consider how these moods complicate their expectations around veteran art and how poignant artistic expression can take many different forms and tones. We also examine the multitudes of the veteran artist identity: Who is a veteran artist? And what is veteran art?

The exhibition's title is a military slang term referring to throwing smoke grenades as a means of cover or escape during battle. Pop smoke is also slang to leave a place.

Artists included: Warren Bakley, Lisa E Fine Art, Victor De la Flor, Gary Dyak, Reginald Green, Thomas Gronowski, William Gullette, Andrew Hansen, Steve Harlow, Gina Herrera, Jason Humphrey, Daniel Kilgore, Kurt Lightfoot, Fred Marinello, Andrew Meyers, Phyllis Thomas Miller, Vincent Pugliese, Iana Quesnell, Don Reedy, William Schinsky, Michael Stevens, Luz Helena Thompson, Nathaniel Williams, Duke Windsor, Zigaloe.

Oceanside Museum of Art

Column: At the Oceanside Museum of Art, a pop art exhibit by military veterans defies stereotypes