As far as famous pop artists go, it truly does not get any better than Roy Lichtenstein. His style of comic art use made him one of the most well known and respected pop artists. His work has helped to inspire thousands of artists to hone their craft. His incredible pieces such as the Times Square Mural located in New York’s busiest subway station, as well as his 1986 mural titled Mural with a Blue Brushstroke, are some of his most prominent public murals.
What Lichtenstein was famous for
Lichtenstein was in the front line of the Pop Art movement which was captivated by the manufacturing process and mass consumerism. Lichtenstein built a largely successful career based on deceivingly simple works that appropriated from popular comic book characters, pulp fiction, and advertisement. Lichtenstein was skilled at the art of separating, cropping and enlarging certain sections of a mural to make the composition more striking.
Video: Roy Lichtenstein interview, 1966
The progression of his paintings
Lichtenstein’s first works were based on experimentation with abstract expressionism but his style begun to mature as he started to concentrate on a particular style. His paintings soon started to draw inspiration from the narrative drama of comic books. His works featured certain elements that were characteristically Lichtenstein such as the use of dots. Lichtenstein’s pieces exemplified pop art’s complex relationship with societal change and pop culture and the changes that came about in the 1960s.
Message of the works
As such, Lichtenstein’s paintings highlight society’s obsession with youth and beauty, the dictatorship of consumer objects and the excitement surrounding advertisement and the media. Mural with Blue Brushstroke may seem muddled with different elements; however, it offered a hedonistic perspective of earthly inconsequentiality.
Along with other popular pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein’s work helped to develop the market drastically in the 1960s. Because of his contributions to the movement, artists started being commissioned and actually receiving recognition for their works. Additionally, contemporary art began to fetch good prices which led to the hyper commoditization of art. Although it has been a while since the world was introduced to a Lichtenstein original, his works are still in very high demand today.
Weisman Art Museum, Minnesota, 1963
CAA Mural -- Creative Arts Agency Building, California, 1989
Greene Street Mural, 1983 & 2015
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel, 1989
AXA Equitable Center, NYC, 1984–86
42nd Street Station, Times Square Mural, NYC, 1990
Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany, 1970