Saturday, December 31, 2005

Roy Lichtenstein

Let's talk about pop art for awhile. Well actually I do talk about pop culture but it usually revolves around comic books or the Monkees. This one does have to do with comic books. Roy Lichtenstein was an artist who was very talented. He worked as a draftsman by day and painted at night. Let's face it if you want to do anything artistic you see very little money to begin with. Some unfortunate souls don't even see it as their work isn't woth anything till they are dead. So you have to love painting or writing or whatever it is that you do. Roy Lichtenstein, from what I have heard, was one who saw some of that money when he was alive. As the title of the book about him above says, he was an image duplicator. In the editoral review of the above book it says that Lichtenstein is "a shrewd if occasionally ironic manipulator of lowbrow cultural ephemera who struggled with the paradox of being a painter in the age of mechanical reproduction and who, consequently, transformed elements of mass culture into sly, sometimes self-effacing intellectual puns." This may be a compliment to Mr. Lichtenstein and his fans but I think it is an insult to people like me. You see Mr. Lichtenstein was most famous for bringing comic book art into the museums. The art on the cover of the book is a pretty good example. It looks like an extreme close up of Magneto to me. To call one of my favorite forms of art low brow is a slap in the face. Some might say that he was doing an homage to the comic book art. That does sound better. However, there is a fine line between homage and rip off. While his work may have been ment as an homage, he did come dangerously close to being a rip off. It was on an Archie comic book cover that put my thoughts into pictures quite well. I don't have a copy of it on hand to show you. Dilton is caught reading a comic book in art class. Miss Grundy tells him to pay attention to the lecture on modern art. The painting they are studying has a generic superhero punching out a generic supervillian. Dilton probably could have taught the class.
If you would like a copy of the book then you can click here
to purchase it from Amazon or click on the title above. Posted by Picasa

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