Martin Sharp: A Retrospective

Renowned Australian pop artist Martin Sharp was known for his vibrant and psychedelic posters. His passing earlier this month, sees fluoro reflect on his work, which symbolised an era and spoke of music, culture and energy.

In a different guise to the pop art of Warhol and Lichtenstein, Sharp’s work engaged with pop culture and an anti-establishment movement. Rather than the notion of celebrity that many pieces of the pop art era centred on, Sharp’s work featured icons from the everyday. Reoccurring figures throughout Sharp’s work included Arthur Stace, who adorned the streets of Sydney, Australia with the word ‘Eternity’ written in chalk, and humorous performer Tiny Tim.

Sharp was immersed in popular culture, something that was reflected in his music posters for Bob Dylan, Cream and Jimi Hendrix. His passion for music also saw him co-write Cream’s song ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’. Whether the posters were created for Sharp’s own artistic value or a commercial purpose, they maintained his distinctive psychedelic vibrancy.

Martin Sharp. 21 January 1942 – 1 December 2013.

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