Postmodernism is an artistic and intellectual movement that began in the mid-20th century, characterized by self-reflexivity, irony, parody, and pastiche. In general, postmodernism eschews concepts of the grand origin or overarching narrative; rather, it designates the cultural logic of late capitalism.
Postmodernism art is a reaction to the previous modernist art movement. Modernist art places emphasis on originality and innovation while postmodernist art tends to focus on pastiche and parody.
Many postmodern paintings depict scenes from classical myths or religious stories because these are familiar to viewers from their childhoods. This can lead to nostalgia for a time before mechanical reproduction and mass media were dominant forms of communication.
Postmodernism art is often characterized by irony and parody. For example, one might use irony when creating an image that combines elements from different eras or styles (e.g., pop culture references). A parody takes something familiar but changes it so that it becomes absurd or humorous (e.g., making fun of politics).
Some artists who work in a postmodernist style include Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Robert Smithson, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami.
Many people associate postmodernism with the rise of new media and technology. Postmodernism art often uses new technology as a way to critique or subvert traditional ideas about culture and society. For example, many artists use digital photography to make images that look like paintings or prints from earlier periods in history.