Pop Art | Dot Art | Appears to Tear the Heart

American pop art artist Roy Fox Lichtenstein was born on October 27, 1923 in New York, into an upper-middle-class Jewish family. He is known as a leading figure in the pop-art movement which focussed on parody; where his work was heavily influenced by both popular advertising and the comic book style.

  • Lichtenstein first became interested in art and design as a hobby whilst at school.
  • In his last academic year in 1939, he enrolled in summer classes at the Art Students League of New York, where he worked under the tutelage of Reginald Marsh.
  • After military service (1943-1946) he returned to Ohio State College as a teacher and later taught at New York State and Rutgers University.
  • At Rutgers, Lichenstein met Allan Kaprow, who opened his eyes to the artistic possibilities inherent in consumerism; and from about 1960 he developed what later  became known as Pop Art in which images are painted in the style of the comics strip.

Lichenstein’s trademark technique is based on the 1950s-1960s comic book oversized Ben-Day Dots for his screening process style; synonymous with his highly stylized paintings.  in which the tiny dots of colour were used to create graduations of colour in the drawings.

  • Readers of the comics were not supposed to notice the dots, but Lichtenstein exaggerated them so viewers were forced to focus on this and reflect on how it affected the artwork.
  • To make the dots, Lichtenstein applied oil paint, using a plastic-bristled dog grooming brush. Later he applied dots to the canvas through a pre-punched metal stencil.
  • D*Face (born 1976) is a top UK street artist, heavily influenced by pop art and Lichtenstein’s work.

Lichenstein died in New York on September 29, 1997.

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