Roy Lichtenstein was born in 1923 in New York. He went to a high school that did not offer art classes but he liked to draw and did so in his free time. After high school, Lichtenstein went to Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in fine art.
He taught art classes as Ohio State University, State University of New York at Oswego, and then Rutgers University. His art evolved during this time from Cubism and Expressionism to Abstract Expressionism.
In 1961, Lichtenstein created his first Pop Art painting. He liked the way commercial art looked and he liked the sharp, black outlines in comic book art. The Pop paintings he is known for combined the two styles.
Lichtenstein used thick, horizontal stripes and Benday Dots in his paintings. Benday Dots were originally used for printing pictures inexpensively. By spacing four different colors of dots close together, far apart, or on top of each other, all the colors can be made. Lichtenstein liked the way the dots looked and so he borrowed the technique. You’ll notice that the faces of the people in many of his paintings are made up of Benday Dots.
Lichtenstein’s Pop Art portrays things from popular culture. That’s why it’s called Pop Art. He drew inspiration from cartoons, newspapers, advertisements, and things he saw in real life (like his art studio). He used this inspiration to create enormous paintings as well as sculptures as you can see in the pictures here, here, and here.
At first, critics didn’t like his work, but today Lichtenstein’s Pop Art can found in most museums that house modern art.
Lichtenstein died in 1997.
Check back throughout the day tomorrow for two Fantastic (Non)Fiction Friday posts and a bonus third post!
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