Week 8 – Snap, Crackle, Strip!
Comic Strip Style Pop Art by Roy Lichtenstein with accompanying Comic Strip Style Poetry.
Most of you will know “Drowning Girl” by Lichtenstein best. You may have seen me use it with a mock-caption of my own in Week One of this Snap, Crackle, Art by MJ stuff for the Too Pedantics, err, Blue Semantics, oops, Stew Gigantics, err sorry, I meant Necromatics, blah blah…Nu Romantics. That’s the one.
Lichtenstein’s paintings have sold for millions of dollars but they may be blatant rip-offs of some other artists toiling away for DC Comics and other locations.
Indie authors may not be the only ones guilty of copycatting. Perhaps a Sarchasmo character cockslapping fools (geni.us/Sarchasmo & geni.us/Sarchasmo2) was needed to mete out justice for some of those who penned comic strips. I’m only half-kidding. Lichtenstein’s relationship to criticism was complex at best.
Anyway, I digress.
Most of Lichtenstein’s best-known works are relatively close, but not exact, copies of comic book panels, a subject he largely abandoned in 1965, though he would occasionally incorporate comics into his work in different ways in later decades. These panels were originally drawn by such comics artists as Jack Kirby and DC Comics artists Russ Heath, Tony Abruzzo, Irv Novick, and Jerry Grandenetti, who rarely received any credit. Jack Cowart, executive director of the Lichtenstein Foundation, contests the notion that Lichtenstein was a copyist, saying: “Roy’s work was a wonderment of the graphic formulae and the codification of sentiment that had been worked out by others. The panels were changed in scale, color, treatment, and in their implications. There is no exact copy.” However, some have been critical of Lichtenstein’s use of comic-book imagery and art pieces, especially insofar as that use has been seen as endorsement of a patronizing view of comics by the art mainstream cartoonist Art Spiegelman commented that “Lichtenstein did no more or less for comics than Andy Warhol did for soup.”
Like I said, I digress.
What I want to get to is the idea of comic strips as poems. See some from ‘The Poetry’ and ‘The Poetry Foundation’. These little comic strips are poems. They have rhythm. They show the history of an emotion. Some of them even rhyme. I think they are a lot of fun. Check a few out. Click the Images to Enlarge.
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Biography of Lichtenstein From Wikipedia:
Roy Fox Lichtenstein (pronounced Funkenstein, just kidding, it’s /ˈlɪktənˌstaɪn/; October 27, 1923 – September 29, 1997) was an American pop artist. During the 1960s, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist among others, he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the premise of pop art through parody. Inspired by the comic strip, Lichtenstein produced precise compositions that documented while they parodied, often in a tongue-in-cheek manner. His work was influenced by popular advertising and the comic book style. He described pop art as “not ‘American’ painting but actually industrial painting”. His paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City. His patron was Gunter Sachs.
Whaam! and Drowning Girl are generally regarded as Lichtenstein’s most famous works, with Oh, Jeff…I Love You, Too…But… arguably third. Drowning Girl, Whaam! and Look Mickey are regarded as his most influential works. His most expensive piece is Masterpiece, which was sold for $165 million in January 2017.