Roy Lichtenstein Reflections on Soda Fountain
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Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York in 1923. He grew up under no specific artistic influence, though at fourteen he began to study painting at the Parson's School of Design, from 1940 to 1943 at the Art Students' League, and from 1946 to 1949 at Ohio State University.
Together with Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein is considered a harbinger of the Pop Art movement. Lichtenstein's first experiments with popular images date to 1956, when abstract expressionism was the dominant art movement. Though Lichtenstein had experimented with abstract expressionism, he came to prominence with a painting of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Lichtenstein allegedly painted it for his children who had provoked him by saying that he could not paint as well as the images in the comic books.
Lichtenstein worked to a great extent with stencils, producing rows of oversized dots intended to make his paintings or prints look like mass-produced commercial products. He wanted his paintings to look machine-made, with no brushstrokes seen. Lichtenstein produced several prints from various techniques -including lithographs, screenprints, etchings and woodcuts- and would often combine these techniques into one print.
His imagery typically contained ironic, humorous, and witty content. Lichtenstein once said: "I'd rather use the word 'dealing with' than 'parody.' I am sure there are certain aspects of irony, but I get really involved in making the paintings when I am working on them, and I think just to make parodies or to be ironic about something in the past is much too much of a joke for that to carry your work as a work of art."