Turning his attention to the aesthetic clichés of ‘high art’, Roy Lichtenstein’s Blonde was created as part of his Brushstroke Faces series in the late 1980s. With bold simulations of brushstrokes, the artist parodies the autographic mark-making of abstract expressionists in this work. Building on his previous period of brushwork experimentation in the mid-1960s, the series revisits the grandiose gestural mark and its inherent art historical meaning.
Similar to another print from the series christened Nude, Blonde employs a colour palette uncharacteristic of Lichtenstein. Unevenly distributed intersecting brushstrokes in blush, military green and orange span most of the canvas. There is a rhythm to these sweeps, testifying to Lichtenstein’s musical interests stemming from his early adolescence.
Although stylistically familiar areas are scarce in this work, Liechtenstein’s traditional brownish red Ben Day dots and dark blue stripes can be spotted hiding beneath the top and bottom of the composition. Simultaneously, a sweeping black outlined yellow formation is added to the left, bearing the distinct cartoonish signature of the artist.
In essence, the works comprising the Brushstroke Faces series are hybrids with regards to their formalistic qualities.