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Why I have chosen Roy Lichtenstein

• After going to the National Gallery’s exhibition “The Art of Collaboration � The Big Americans’

• I just wanted to steal just one of Roy’s paintings. I decided that they would look even better hanging on my wall. Its funny saying that after reading a quote of Lichtenstein’s that stated that his ambition had been to produce a picture so hideous that no one would hang it.

• I’ve got a feeling he was aiming this comment to the nasty art critics’ of the time.

Inspired my designing

• His work is about art and style despite its extremely mechanical and predictable look. I’m inspired by the fact that his paintings can have such a simple aesthetic but yet maintain his style over the years of technological advances. His evolved with the advancements.

Lichtenstein’s facts

• Born - New York on the 8th of October 1

• Past away in 17

• American painter, sculptor, printmaker and decorative artist

• Roy Lichtenstein’s earliest series of paintings, those which establish his reputation, were greatly enlarged frames from comic strips.

• These achieved instant success because they seemed to represent the new love with popular, mass culture. But not without his critics.

• He brought irony to genuine comic-strip material in the 160’s

• He once said; “I think my work is different from comic strips-but I wouldn’t call it transformation…What I do is form, whereas the comic strip is not formed in the sense I am using the word; comics have shapes, but there has been no effort to make them intensely unified. The purpose is different, one tends to depict and I intend to unify. And my work is actually different from comic strips in that every mark is really in a different place, however slight the difference seems to some.”

• In fact, as the later development of Roy’s art has shown, his work is much more about the mechanisms of perception, and about the way in which representations of people and things are coded, than about popular culture, which he simply takes as a contemporary “given.”

• The apparent mechanical style of Lichtenstein’s art was not so much product of the techniques employed, it was the look, the aesthetic the artist desired.

• He adopted the subject matter of popular culture, of action movies and comics, romantic potboilers, advertisements, manufactured objects and items of food. I prime example of this would be his painting ‘Kitchen Stove of 161-6’.

Kitchen Stove 161-6 oil on canvas

• This painting was rendered to achieve a mechanical look using the Ben Day dot system � a commercial printing technique used to denote half tones, named after the American illustrator Benjamin Day.

• Lichtenstein reproduces the regular screen of dots typical of comic-strip images, something which becomes doubly noticeable when the pictures are blown up to a very large scale.

• On the side of the stove, the eye mixes the colour of the dots and the colour of the background, which gives the appearance of lighter blue.

• The combo of the commercial subject matter and his technique produced a double-edged art characterised by a keen wit and mocking style.

• This piece is pretty cute. I can feel the 50’s influence. And I just image an American mother getting the mittens on to move them the awaiting cooling rack. I would love it as a Tee print.

Whaam! 16 Acrylic on Canvas 1.7 x 4.1m

• Whaam! shows an American jet-fighter shooting down an opponent. The scene is recreated with a detailed use of the characteristic effects produced by cheap colour-printing- (1) hard outlines, () areas of flat colour, () patches of absolutely regular hatching or shading.

• Other features, which have nothing to do with the realist impulse are also striking the stylized burst of flames surrounding the doomed aircraft as it explodes, and the expressive lettering which renders the sound of the explosion.

• To avoid the often muddy look found in these cheap printings, Lichtenstein purified his palette, focusing on primary colours and black and white.

• At such a huge scale his paintings become lighter and bolder.

• Carefully recomposing the imagery, often by cropping, simplifying and enlarging, producing something more refined, with a flat, pattern quality.

• He was noted say; “At the beginning I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing, but I was very excited about, and interested in, the highly emotional content yet detached, impersonal handling of love, hate, war, etc, in these cartoon images…The closer my work is to the original, the more threatening and critical the content. However, my work is entirely transformed in that my purpose and perception are entirely different. I think my paintings are critically transformed.”

Peace through chemistry 1 & Bronze 170

• Colour lithograph screenprint & Cast bronze relief

• Just put this one in to make note the ways his translated his art into a D bronze relief.

• The compositions consist of a head in profile, with chemistry paraphernalia and a machine-like, Art Deco look.

• It may be a sculpture but its very D.

Nude with Blue Hair 14 Colour relief print

• When making relief prints, Lichtenstein would always insist on carving the wood himself. But in Nudes, he adopted a new method. For this last series Lichtenstein made at Tyler Graphics before his death in 17, he agreed to make these works using an innovative method of printing from plastic relief plates, which Kenneth Tyler had proposed.

• He stated “I wanted to mix artistic conventions that you would think are incompatible, namely the play of light against dark and local colour, and see what happened. My nudes are part light and shade, and so are the backgrounds, with dots to indicate shade. The dots are also graduated from large to small, which usually suggests modeling in peoples minds, but that’s not what you get with these figures. I don’t really know why I chose nudes. I’d never done them before, so that maybe something, but I also felt the play of light against dark would look good on the body. And with my nudes there’s so little body flesh or skin tones � they’re so unrealistic � that using them underscored the separation between reality and artistic convention.”

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