Ten Dollar Bill

Ten Dollar Bill
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein

Lithograph, 1956
Signed Print Edition of 25
H 25cm x W 48cm

Critical Review

The work’s exterior is simplified, enveloping a shuffled composition of letters and fantastical shapes within its confines. Ten Dollar Bill presents a Picasso-esque vision of the original illustration seen on American currency. Liechtenstein in this work refashions the medallion portrait of Alexander Hamilton printed on the bank note. Ten Dollar Bill’s Hamilton is rendered in profile, his features flattened and amorphic.

In a sense, this finely drawn image is a humorous pre-pop counterfeit. Lichtenstein invokes a radical flatness and sketch-like qualities through careful tracing and contouring. He offers an ultimate parody of both fine art and consumer culture. The artist went on to tackle countless emblems and symbols throughout his career, including the American flag. Therefore, this work is considered an intriguing precursor to Lichtenstein’s subsequent aesthetic development.