October 11, 2006

Roy’s Rips

Filed under: art — ted @ 2:59 pm

I’m feeling a little silly at the moment, being that this is my third post today today via Boing Boing, but onwards…

Roy Lichtenstein, the great pop artists, was famous for taking art from comic books, changing the colors and style, and making masterpieces. A website, Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein, has a full page of documentation, placing the orignal and Lichtenstein’s finished product side by side. It’s fascinating to see when and why Roy decided to make small changes, and when he left the comic exactly as it was.

For example, here’s the source for Whaam!, which hangs in London’s Tate Gallery.



  1. Is it me, or are the original comic panels just better art? His copies lose a lot of the feel and humanity of the originals. Or was he making slightly retarded versions on purpose as some sort of pop-art statement?

    Comment by John I — October 11, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

  2. You make a valid point. I actually read a similar criticism of Lichtenstein’s comic-swipes when researching the web this afternoon: namely, that the pop-art prints were “flat” compared to the comics. But I do think he was doing this to make a point: the artworks are always more dynamic, since he strips down the extra elements and emboldens the colors to sharpen contrast and bring out the mood he’s trying to convey.

    Plus, he makes them much larger. The Whaam! painting is 15 feet long.

    Comment by edwardhenry — October 11, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

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