Friday, October 16, 2009

Fanboys Hate Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein was an American artist was one of the leaders of the Pop Art movement in the last half of the 20th century. He was really famous for taking panels from comic books, enlarging the scale, and making paintings. Many fanboys hate Lichtenstein because his artwork is worth millions of dollars while the comics he used for inspiration are not nearly as valuable.

(Hopeless by Roy Lichtenstein.)

While I am not a huge fan of Lichtenstein’s work, I can see the value of it. Back in the 1960s, when Lichtenstein made his mark, comics were considered banal and thrown away after they were read. Lichtenstein’s contribution to the art world is that he immortalized these ephemeral images. He really liked enlarging scenes from melodramatic comics like Girls’ Romances and Secret Hearts. Additionally, he didn’t only copy the comic panels, he did make some changes. Lichtenstein also made a lot of completely original artwork in the style of comics. Personally, I like his use of benday dots on a large scale. He also painted some ceramic heads sculpted by Hui Ka Kwong that are interesting because he took a 2-D style and applied it to a 3-D object.

5 comments:

  1. I like Roy. Of course, I love most pop art of the 40's through 60's. I think in a way fanboys owe a lot to him and the fact that he did bring comic book art to the "mainstream."

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  2. Not only did he rip off other professional illustrators without giving them royalties or even credit, he did it incompetently. I wouldn’t buy a comic book that looked like that. Just look at the lettering!

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  3. Lichtenstein didn't do anything to bring comics into the mainstream; comics did that for themselves. Besides, why didn't he bother to at least give his sources for the images he stole, what would he have lost if he just said, "oh, this image comes from such-and-such vol. 16"? Besides, the idea that comics are "disposable" or "mundane" pieces of trash (like a soup can, say) that need to be "saved" by a "real" artist is insulting to the original artists that created these images.

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  4. Some comics fans may hate Lichtenstein, but the cartoonists he "ripped off" don't. See http://superitch.com/?p=36

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