Roy Lichtenstein’s Nudes of 1994 place cartoon imagery once again at the centre of his composition. The highly sexualised portrayal of women throughout art history, as well as in contemporary society, has been of paramount importance to Lichtenstein’s work.
The artist’s earliest depictions of female heroines originated in popular comic books and movie stills. These female figures were featured in several of Lichtenstein’s other series, primarily functioning as supporting elements in his creative exploration. The actual nude, however, appeared as a subject matter late in the artist’s career.
In Nude With Blue Hair, the application of the red Ben Day dots vary in size, transgressing the boundaries of the figure's naked upper body and head. Overlaying the contours of her face, the dots cascade from the picture’s top to the bottom. The flowing pattern is merely interrupted by the figure’s pale blue hair, suggesting that she in fact exists in a three-dimensional pictorial space inside the frame.
Patches of clear white base correspond to Lichtenstein’s literal stripping of the female subject to an essential form. The image is closely cropped, seemingly revealing the figure’s availability and generic desire. However, as the naked female figure leans unapologetically into view, the dynamic between subject and observer is subverted. In the end, the beholders themselves feel intruded upon by the leading lady of the composition.