Roy Lichtenstein (born in Manhattan, New York in 1923 and deceased in 1997) was one of the most important artists of the American pop-art culture.
His work is mainly inspired by publicity and popular images of his era and is especially reputed for its cartoon-like images (comic strips). Roy Lichtenstein uses not only the iconography of comic strips, but also the related technique and method (black contours, saturated colours, … .
His real career as a painter starts in the fifties, a time during which he is utilizes the basic techniques as used in abstract expressionism, but with a personal re-interpretation. His creations were inspired by specific themes such as cowboys, Indians and paper money. During this phase, he portrays mainly adverts as used in the consumption society.
In 1961, he creates his first pop-art works, more specifically comic strips and their characters. As these works are exhibited worldwide, he starts to get known outside of the United States.
Lichtenstein uses mainly vivid colours, often marked with thick blacks contour lines. He used a special kind of dot, recognizable as rasterdots as used in photos in papers and comic strips, giving his paintings a typical striplook.
“Flatten … sandfleas” is the first important example of this new style.
The painting “Whaam!” of 1963 is the most important example in this context. This big painting (1,7 m x 4 m) portrays a fighter plane which fires a missile to an enemy plane, in a red and yellow explosion, marked by the onomatopoiea “Whaam!”.
In the mid-sixties, the main inspiration for his art came from Picasso, Monet and Matisse. He paints sunsets and landscapes in his distinct style.
As one of the most important representatives of the American Pop Art, he deceases in 1997 at the consequence of pneumonia. His last finished project was the logo of Dreamwork Records.