Retro art

The style now called “retro art” is a genre of pop art which was developed in the 1940s and 1950s, in response to a need for bold, eye-catching graphics that were easy to reproduce on simple presses available at the time in major centres Retro advertising art has experienced a resurgence in popularity since its style is distinctive from modern computer-generated styling Contemporary artist Anne Taintor uses retro advertising art as the centerpiece for her ongoing commentary on the modern woman Specific styling features include analog machine design, vintage television program etc

Perhaps the most famous example of a retro pop-art character is the more generalized form of the Ward Cleaver-styled J R “Bob” Dobbs-esque icon which has been widely played off, copied, and parodied

Retro style is style that is consciously derivative or imitative of trends, music, modes, fashions, or attitudes of the past

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The term retro has been in use since the 1960s to describe on the one hand new artifacts that self-consciously refer to particular modes, motifs, techniques, and materials of the past But on the other hand, many people (incorrectly) use the term to categorise styles that have been created in the past Retro style refers to new things that display characteristics of the past It is mostly the recent past that retro seeks to recapitulate, focusing on the products, fashions and artistic styles produced since the Industrial Revolution, of Modernity The English word retro derives from the Latin prefix retro, meaning backwards, or in past times

In France, the word rétro, an abbreviation for rétrospectif, gained cultural currency with reevaluations of Charles de Gaulle and France’s role in World War II The French mode rétro of the 1970s reappraised in film and novels the conduct of French civilians during the Nazi occupation The term rétro was soon applied to nostalgic French fashions that recalled the same period

Shortly thereafter it was introduced into English by the fashion and culture press, where it suggests a rather cynical revival of older but relatively recent fashions In Simulacra and Simulation, French theorist Jean Baudrillard describes retro as a demythologization of the past, distancing the present from the big ideas that drove the modern age

Most commonly retro is used to describe objects and attitudes from the recent past that no longer seem modern It suggests a fundamental shift in the way we relate to the past Different from more traditional forms of revivalism, “retro” suggests a half ironic, half longing consideration of the recent past; it has been called an “unsentimental nostalgia”, recalling modern forms that are no longer current The concept of nostalgia is linked to retro, but the bittersweet desire for things, persons and situations of the past has an ironic stance in retro style Retro shows nostalgia with a dose of cynicism and detachment The desire to capture something from the past and evoke nostalgia is fuelled by dissatisfaction with the present

Retro can be applied to several things and artifacts, for example, forms of technological obsolescence (such as manual typewriters, cash registers, and bulky hand-held cellphones) and also the resurrection of old computer games and the equipment on which they are played