Saturday, 30 March 2013

"Whaat?" indeed...


One of the big events in the art world at the moment is the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective currently showing at London's Tate Modern. I'm personally ambivalent about Lichtenstein's Pop-Art: while I can appreciate the eye-popping effect of his appropriation of comic art on large canvases, I dislike the art "elite"'s snobbery towards the original source material... and mostly, the late Mr. L's refusal to name and respect the original artists. It all strikes me as very cynical and dishonest. The above painting by the wonderful Dave Gibbons is an ironic take on Lichtenstein's abilities and intentions.


If you're interested in this subject you should check out this fascinating article called The Principality Of Lichtenstein: From "WHAAM!" To "WHAAT?" by renowned comics archivist Paul Gravett.



Personally, I find there's more heart, soul and talent in the original works by artists such as John Romita, Irv Novick and Tony Abruzzo than there is in Lichtenstein's "recontextualisations".
Check out this site for some revealing comparisons...


Soundtrack: Here Comes The Sun / In My Life by the Fab Four

2 comments:

Kid said...

Strange to think that Lichtenstein probably sold his 'homages' for a fortune, while the artists he ripped-off received a relative pittance for their work.

cerebus660 said...

And, of course, those talented and hard-working craftsmen were delivering such sterling work on a monthly basis, too...

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