“Advertising has caused a revolution in the popular art field. Advertising has become respectable in its own right and is beating the fine arts at their old game. We cannot ignore the fact that one of the traditional functions of fine art, the definition of what is fine and desirable for the ruling class and therefore ultimately that which is desired by society, has now been taken over by the ad man.
The fine artist is often unaware that his patron, or more often his patron’s wife who leafs through the magazines, is living in a different world to his own. The pop-art of today, the equivalent of the Dutch fruit and flower arrangements, the pictures of second rank of all Renaissance schools, and the plates that first presented to the public the Wonder of the Machine Age and the New Territories, is to be found in today’s glossies – bound up with the throw-away object” – Alison and Peter Smithson, catalogue of Pop Art, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1991.