Composition I 1996 by Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

Composition Roy Lichtenstein

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American artist Roy Lichtenstein was a distinguished practitioner of Pop Art. He drew inspiration for his artworks from various sources ranging from comic books to graphic design. Lichtenstein manufactured his prints with the help of innovative mass-reproduction techniques and was immensely fascinated with advertising processes. He began to replicate Ben Day dots and stripes early on in his career, mimicking an array of industrial methods. 

Lichtenstein represents an integral part of the development of Pop, seeing as he appropriated the aesthetics of past and present artistic creations in broadly accessible terms. Boldly challenging what constitutes high versus low brow culture, the artist questioned the distinction between museum worthy fine art and highly commercialised media imagery. He granted means for the public to acquaint themselves better with the realms of contemporary art.

Lichtenstein was born into a musically inclined family, his mother being a talented piano player, and was raised during New York’s infamous jazz age of the 1930s. The influence of this era stayed with him throughout his career, having an initially subtle then quite direct impact on his creative output. 

Lichtenstein spent his adolescence frequenting jazz clubs, concert halls and the Apollo Theatre in particular. He even established his own band with his friends, where he played the flute, the clarinet and the piano. The artist’s early enthusiasm for music fuelled a number of his prePop paintings of the 1950s, some of which portrayed jazz musicians on stage.

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