Roy Lichtenstein’s image-making extended in numerous directions throughout his artistic career. The artist continuously invigorated commercial and historical iconography through contemporary forms. To begin with, his clean-cut graphics frequently re-imagined popular visuals in the artist’s own creative voice. Later on, Lichtenstein became notorious for initiating playful dialogues with conventional genres of the past.
Best Buddies from 1991 is an unexpected abruption to Lichtenstein’s revisionist oeuvre, as the work does not derive its inspiration from popular culture or art history. Instead, its subject matter originates from Lichtenstein's own independent and self-generated design. Best Buddies employs elements developed by the artist in his earlier Perfect/Imperfect series. As such, the print manifests a stunning search for pure abstraction and geometrical precision.
Lichtenstein fits the eruptive composition of Best Buddies neatly within the confines of a rectangular picture plane. While the left side of the work is dominated by intersecting triangles, the right is occupied by looping circles and ovals. The flowing lines and sharp edges splay out like an interconnected web of shapes across the canvas. The artist achieves dimension and texture by utilising assertive contours, single colours, and dense areas of stripes. Best Buddies is the ultimate testimony to Lichtenstein’s innovative technical and formal competencies.