Monday, April 8, 2013

Roy Lichtenstein &Picasso & Their View of Women

I have always admired Roy Lichtenstein's art. He uses a great amount fewer lines and detail instead of the many strokes and gritty lines used in drawing and painting traditionally. There is no shading really, instead he uses dots like an enlarged comic book sketch. I tried to find more information on Lichtenstein himself, which there was plenty of. What was most interesting, however was that like many other modern artists, he was not an overnight sensation, he was instead nearly hated in the art world until after his death. 

This article in the Guardian: 
( how his art portrayed a certain sarcasm and irony which the public was unable to really grasp at the time, but later took a great interest in and admired on the level which it was meant to be taken with. 

Interestingly, who I immediately thought about when I saw what the public had to say about Lichtensteins art and his late rise to success was Pablo Picasso. Although one man was a pioneer in cubism and the other was one in popart, they both were individuals in times and industries where being an individual was only accepted to a certain point. Picasso possibly had greater success while still living, but the similarities cannot be ignored.

The similarities between the two artists include most, that they both had interesting relationships with women. Women were the subjects of both artist's works more often than not, however their relationships with the women in their life seem to differ, although both being filled with passion. According to the Daily Mail in the UK, Picasso was unfaithful to his wife, and had many lovers whom he was keeping at a time, and tempted by giving them bizarre gold statues to signify his interest in the. The article quotes his biographer, Patrick O’Brian, saying "Picasso’s feeling for women oscillated between extreme tenderness on the one hand and violent hatred on the other, the mid-point being dislike — if not contempt." This is an interesting way to look at the man whose paintings so often seemed to convey women as fascinating and subjects of interest rather than contempt. 

Lichtenstein, in contrast, seems to be quite the opposite in his view of women. He was married to his second wife, Dorothy Lichtenstein, for almost 30 years, from 1968 to his death in 1997. She spoke on his behalf at a retrospective for him in 2012. She said, "Feminism definitely figured in his life philosophy because he was always a humanist, even before feminism." This in contrast to Picasso's almost misogynist practices paints Lichtenstein in a much friendlier light than the latter. It would be interesting upon further inspection to observe further their succes in art contrasted with their relationship to women. It could be a very interesting reflection on the world that we do, and have lived in.

Picasso's view of Women Article:

Lichtenstein Women Article:

Lichtenstein Biography:

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