There were countless facets to the pop culture movement during the 1960s beyond the iconic pieces of Andy Warhol and many other well-known artists. In fact, there was a particular artist who loved the movement so much that he brought elements from comic books and other aspects of popular culture in order to create highly colorful and thought provoking, tongue-in-cheek pieces of artwork. Born in New York City on October 27th, 1923, Roy Lichtenstein would make it acceptable to consider comic book coloring, shading, and other elements legitimate art.
This affinity with the pop art movement and the style he became so well-known for began at an early age. Lichtenstein was always interested in comic books, science, and otherwise kept to himself with such hobbies. However, during his teenaged years, he started to develop an interest in the creation of the artwork within the comic books and started to learn how to paint. Lichtenstein would eventually attend Ohio State University but was suddenly drafted into World War II and wasn’t able to finish his degree.
Regardless, Lichtenstein never gave up on painting and after his tour was over in the military, he immediately returned to Ohio State University and finished up his Bachelors in the arts. Roy would stay around campus and finish up his Masters and teach art classes at Ohio State University. This didn’t deter him to continue working on his own pieces and creating interesting paintings inspired strongly by great artists such as Pablo Picasso and others. Lichtenstein enjoyed Americana fiction, oftentimes depicting noir drama and the landscape of the west with cowboys throughout the 1950s.
After some time, Rutgers University offered Lichtenstein a teaching position on their campus. He accepted and it was during this time he was first exposed to the pop art movement and everything it brought. It was the 1960s, full of color and expressionism, and Roy took in every bit of pop art that he could. Eventually, this led him to create his own pop art pieces that would become staples in the community for their unique style.
With his rise of popularity came some critics about his particular set of work. Many questioned whether his pop art was legitimate, with Life magazine going as far as titling their interview with him, “Is he the worst artist in America?” Of course, mainstream audiences begged to differ and made him both a national and international pop art icon.
His work has included taking panels from famous DC comics, using Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck’s image. It was all part of his satire on American pop culture, though he still respected the medium in which he drew inspiration from. Lichtenstein would also create pop art sculptures and well over 300 pieces through printmaking, creating pieces that many people still recognize today.
Only a small portion of our Roy Lichtenstein artwork is represented online. Please contact us if you are looking for something special.
Roy Lichtenstein, Foot and Hand – Cat. #II.4, 1964, Offset lithograph on white wove paper, 17.25 X 21.5 in., Edition of 300, Pencil signed, numbered and dated upper left
Baked potato, 1962
Oil on canvas, 61 x 91.4 cm
In the Car, 1963
Magna on canvas, 68 x 80 inches; 172.7 x 203.2 cm
Oil on canvas, 172.7 x 203.2 cm