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Dots, dot patterns, bright red, yellow, blue. Varoom! Whaam! Pop! The canvases of the pop artist Roy Lichtenstein look like they were pulled straight out of a comic and, through cold dots, his work brings out emotions that transport us to the history behind art and to what may happen next. In doing that, his work elevates the commercial images of comics and conventional ads to art.
From Brush-Strokes to Dots
With his dot patterns and flat colors, Lichtenstein threads through an alternative path to the one set by the post Second World War Abstract Expressionism movement; different to Pollock’s, with his specks; and different to de Kooning’s with his paintbrush brush-strokes. He sees art’s history as one of paintbrushes, and wants to change it. He’s inspired by the work of the great masters and transforms a world of brush-strokes into a universe of dots and the language of comics.
Lichtenstein interprets the work of great artists like Matisse, Monet or Picasso and translates it to a universe of dot patterns and flat colors. He was painting something really similar to digital pixels before they even existed. He doesn’t handpaint every single dot but uses different templates with diverse dot patterns. Lichtenstein paints over the template with bright primary colors, and they fall like perfect circles.
I Spot You
This North American artist is a pioneer in the use of a certain kind of graphic language that he adopted as a means of divulging information and expressing himself. Lichtenstein ended up making it his, bringing elements associated with a popular background into the context of artistic experimentation. With a great sense of humor, critique, and skepticism pop artists cause in the spectator a debate about the thin line dividing art from entertainment, and about the ideas of consumerism and originality.
Inspired by comics and ads, Lichtenstein draws a caricature of consumerist society, pop culture, and the world of art.
Third picture: Black dress with white dots by Uterqüe