Born in New York in 1923, Roy Lichtenstein was an American pop artist. He became famous for his bright and bold paintings of comic strip cartoons. He also did paintings of everyday objects
In the 1960s, along with Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, Roy was a leading figure in the new art movement. He defined the premise of pop art through parody.
Inspired by the comic strip, Roy produced precise compositions that documented while also parodied. He often parodied in a tongue-in-check manner.
Lichtenstein was largely influenced by the popular advertising and comic book style. Many found his work as disruptive.
But he described pop art as “Not American painting but actually industrial painting”. Some of his best works include Drowning Girl and Whaam. And his most expensive piece is Masterpiece. It sold for $165 million in January 2017.
1. Girl With Ball 1961
Let’s start with a classic advertising painting. During the 1960s, women were a huge part of the advertising industry. They made it to almost every commercial. And Roy paints it perfectly, when the commercial is a woman with a ball.
2. Look Mickey 1961
Roy also found a lot of inspiration in cartoons. He could have probably been a graphic artist for Disney if it wasn’t for his career in art. You could see this picture making it into a Mickey Mouse movie.
3. Live Ammo Blang 1962
We have to remember that war was a huge topic for inspiration and discussion in the US in the 1960s and 1970s. We got the hippie movement that voiced their opinion for peace all over the world. Roy wanted to give an illustration of war and casualties.
4. Woman In Bath 1963
Girls and women often made an appearance in Roy’s artwork. He painted them in different scenes and variations.
5. Crack 1963
Here is another war-inspired print by Lichtenstein. Living in the period of Vietnam War and many other wars around the world, Roy found a lot of inspiration in it. And he too encouraged peace.
6. Femme d’Alger, 1963
There is so much history in this painting. Les Femmes d’Alger was a series of paintings by Pablo Picasso. And he was inspired by Delacroix’s 1834 painting The Women of Algiers in their apartment. Roy, on the other hand, said he wanted to make art so despicable that no one would want it.
Similar to Delacroix’s painting, the art represents a male fantasy, a harem of women lounging around and waiting.
7. Girl In Mirror 1963
Nowadays, you can probably find prints like this one all over the world. Coffee shops definitely use similar prints. Most of them are inspired or made by Roy.
8. Hopeless 1963
For some, this print would look desperate. But if you look deeper, you will see that there might be hope.
9. In The Car 1963
The first car produced in America was in 1908. But it wasn’t until after World War II that cars became a common thing in the US and in the world. That is what this scene depicts.
10. Pop 1964
Pop art is a movement where simple words get bigger meaning. They carry a bigger message. And as you can see, just a single “pop” can make a whole picture.
11. Drowning Girl 1964
Many critics describe this painting as a “masterpiece of melodrama”. And the topic of melodrama follows Roy through his career. He loved depicting women in tragic situations.
12. Nurse 1964
Sometimes, you have to look for a deeper meaning in Roy’s depiction of women. And sometimes, the message is clear. But the artist was genius in painting women’s expressions.
13. Oh Jeff…I Love You, Too…But…, 1964
The famous I love you but. Or sometimes “it is not you it is me”. Roy definitely understood the complex natural of relationships. And he was a master of making a simple quote a masterpiece.
14. Pistol 1964
We said before that war was another huge topic in Roy’s career. He wanted to show the negative effects of war, but in a subtle way. And he succeeded in that.
15. The Kiss 1964
A woman crying during a kiss is definitely not a situation any man would love to be part of. But that is the genius side of Roy’s career. Painting and depicting women in tragic situations some might find happy.
16. Girl With Hair Ribbon 1965
There is one thing we can guarantee about a Lichtenstein’s painting. The expressions on the face are so real. You can definitely feel the emotions. And we all relate and connect to his paintings because of that.
17. Big Painting No. 6 1965
There is so much symbolism in this painting. Big Painting was a part of a series of artworks that included paintings and sculptures whose subject is the actions made with a house-painter’s brush. But the red color is also a symbol of blood, referencing wars around the world that killed thousands of people.
18. Sunrise 1965
Leave it to Roy to paint the perfect and simple sunrise. When you think of the sunrise and sunset, you think of out of this world colors that amaze us. But Roy wanted to keep things simple.
19. M-Maybe 1965
Here is another painting that depicted a question many women had back in the days. And it is relevant to this day. Women married to cheating husbands always ask it. And we rarely see their expression. Luckily, Roy was there to paint it.
20. Sweet Dreams Baby 1965
Sometimes the night doesn’t end well. And that is when you get a scene like this one.
21. I… I ‘m sorry 1965-66
Just look at this girl’s tears. They are so real. The emotions this painting brings are real. We feel them. And that is the mastery of Roy.
22. Peace Through Chemistry 1970
In the 1960s and 1970s many people wondered how can we achieve peace. The world went through World War II, Cold War, Vietnam War, and it seemed like we will be in war forever. Roy thought we can achieve peace through chemistry.
23. Artist’s Studio The Dance 1974
This is how Roy wanted to show his studio to viewers and people on the outside. It is a mess, but an organized mess, right?
24. Blonde (C.153), 1978
Some critics describe Roy as the painter who adored women. We can say one thing for sure, he definitely understood their emotions. Lichtenstein was a master in depicting women’s emotions.
25. Mermaid 1978
Why Roy depicted women as blondes is a mystery to this day for some people. But even in a painting about mermaids, he adds a touch of blonde.
26. Woman III 1982
What made Roy stand out is that he injected both humor and a Pop art chill into his art. With slashes of bold color, he made every picture stand out of the crowd.
27. Jobs Not Cheese! Moffett for Senator, 1982
One thing Roy was a master at was delivering common daily life messages and smarts through his paintings. And they are so true. No work = no money = no food = no cheese, right?
28. Apple with Gray Background 1983
While Roy usually depicted women and commercials, he also depicted still objects. But in a pop art style.
29. Summer Olympics Cup Sculpture 1992
El Cap de Barcelona is a surrealist sculpture Roy made for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The English title of the sculpture is The Head of Barcelona. It is his first outdoor work using ceramic tile, and he used it to acknowledge Antoni Gaudi’s affinity for mosaics.
The sculpture is an abstract rendition of a woman’s head and appears exactly how one would expect his sculpture to be.
30. Woman Contemplating a Yellow Cup 1995
For a brief period in the 1990s, Roy went into sculptures. But he went back to his roots following the 1992 sculpture for the summer Olympics. He did changed a bit of his paintings, adding more colors than the traditional yellow.
31. Modern Art I 1996
A Roy Lichtenstein’s painting of a woman without a touch of yellow. Now that is a rarity, right?
32. Woman Sunlight Moonlight 1996
This striking sculpture represents the triumphal return of the female figure in his late career. It re-processes the historical trope of the bust through the lens of his signature pop art idiom.