Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Art History



First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Bailey

Second Advisor

Professor Kelly Scheffer

Third Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Walz


After the consolidation of Pop Art in the 1960s, the American movement started to be incorporated and interpreted, on its own terms, outside the United States. In Latin America, Brazilian artists created their own “pop language.” Based on qualitative, critical, postcolonial readings of various texts and works of art, I argue that Neo-Pop art in Brazil can be understood as incorporated under the Brazilian concept of “anthropophagic culture.” The term “anthropophagy,” as defined by Gazi Islam, “marks moments of intercultural contact, where devouring the other at once acknowledges an appetitive desire for appropriation and an aggressive process of deconstruction.”1 Anthropophagy has been used in Brazil since its Modern period and influenced how Brazilian artists interpreted foreign art and appropriated artistic styles.2 Anthropophagic artistic productions are identified in Brazil as an ambiguous juxtaposition of different stages of capitalist development, creating art that mixes modern content with an archaic content, for example.3 I argue that one of the styles that was appropriated through anthropophagy was “Pop Art,” which in Brazil received a different treatment when compared to its roots in Europe and the United States. Brazilian Neo-Pop Art was more politically direct and more openly critical of America’s way of life and influence on the politics of Brazil (an influence that had ushered in years of dictatorship). The influence of Umberto Eco’s idea of the “open work” also marks an important difference between Brazilian Neo-Pop and American Pop.4 The Brazilian artists I am calling Neo-Pop were not simply copying or celebrating American Pop Art. Instead, they were creating a distinctly Brazilian Neo-Pop Art language. It is still recognizably Pop, but anthropophagically adapted to a new cultural context.