Roy Lichtenstein’s highly acclaimed Surrealist series of the late 1970s demonstrates the artist’s proficiency in the language of modern art. Beside pursuing a rereading of past artistic styles, the Surrealist prints invoke outstanding images from Lichtenstein’s own oeuvre. Consequently, the works in this sequence suggest an abundance of referential meanings.
Jobs Not Cheese! Moffett For Senator was executed in 1982 and commemorates Democrat Anthony John Moffett’s unsuccessful senatorial run. Additionally, the work is also a sardonic response to Ronald Reagan's misguided welfare scheme, which fed low-income populations excess dairy produce.
The layout of Jobs Not Cheese! Moffett For Senator mirrors the traditional disposition of propaganda posters. In fact, the entire print manifests a polished, mass-produced aesthetic. Rendered in vibrant yellow, red and blue hues, offset by crisp black and white, the composition revels in the sharply defined outlines of its main protagonist. A figurative torso clad in a white suit, yellow shirt and red and white necktie is seated beside a window, framed by a swooping white curtain.
Lichtenstein allows the forms in this print to assume an entirely figural quality, with the exception of one component. The artist employs a hovering block of cheese, suspended above the figure’s collar instead of a head, to culminate the perfect absurdist dreamscape.