Tara Blackwell

Old-school graphics meet social justice and feminism in Tara Blackwell’s vibrant, Pop Art paintings.

TARA BLACKWELL is American but lives in North America


Tara Blackwell’s childhood was composed of morning cartoons, Sunday comic strips, candy logos, and cereal box mascots. Growing up in a house of artists in Connecticut, experimentation and curiosity were in her nature as she explored the messaging, brightness and punch of the commercial world around her. She spent time in the art studio starting from a young age and developed a relationship with color, texture, and layering to create playful and nostalgic works that are infused with pop culture and familiar media. 

While pursuing a degree in advertising, Blackwell learned a fundamental lesson that can be applied in art and beyond: the visual messaging we see all around us, whether it be an advertisement on a bus station or a widespread Super Bowl commercial, has the power to communicate new information that influences the way people live. She infuses her works with wit and humor to bring themes of social justice, feminism and empowerment to the foreground.

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What we love

In a time where talks of equality are still occurring, Blackwell employed her skills in advertising and art to create her Pop Art paintings that weave narratives around contemporary issues while using figures and imagery that are familiar to us. Using glue, spackle, and plaster, Blackwell begins with a multilayered foundation that she continues to build upon with acrylic, mixed media, and textural elements. The dynamic messaging portrayed through her paintings has an underlying process that is more gritty and messy in comparison to the clean, bold lines of graphic imagery. This contrast offers a new perspective on subject matter and is symbolic of her personal life experiences. 

When I was a kid, I didn’t think that being an artist was anything unique. It was just a regular part of my life.
- Tara Blackwell
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Advertisements Reimagined
Through visual advertising techniques and nostalgic characters, Blackwell uses familiar imagery and bright colors to create social commentary around contemporary issues and events. Her “Corner Store & Saturday Morning” series subtly alters the original messaging associated with the images by speaking to feminism, inequity, and power imbalances. Cereal and breakfast boxes now speak to economic disparity and characters like Lisa Simpson are telling you to fight back. Some paintings simply take on more romantic connotations, exploring lovesickness through soda and candy branding. Her work is bound to invoke nostalgia and curiosity in those who are looking.