October 27 is the American artist Roy Lichtenstein’s birthday. He died in 1997 after more than 50 years of influencing art and popular culture with his paintings, printmaking and sculpture.
In honor of Lichtenstein and the power of art, let’s take a quick look at him and the world he helped shape.
Roy Fox Lichtenstein was born in New York City in 1923. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and later earned a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio State University in 1949. Through most of the 1950s, he taught art, worked as a commercial artist and exhibited his own work in New York galleries.
By the early 1960s, as he became more a part of the pop art movement, his work started to gain widespread recognition. Paintings like Drowning Girl, Whaam! and Look Mickey brought him to the forefront of pop art. His style, which used thick lines, bold colors and was patterned on the look of comic strips, made his work instantly recognizable.
The pop art movement, which also included the likes of artists Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Claes Oldenburg, evolved from a desire to move away from abstract expressionism. Pop artists wanted to return to images that were recognizable. Influenced by popular culture, they took everyday objects and presented them as “high” art. And in turn, as artists often do, they had influence on popular culture itself.
“There must be something about art,” Lichtenstein once said. “Almost all cultures have done art. It’s a refining of the senses, which are there to keep us alive. As far as we know, no other animals do that.”
At Infinite Energy, we think there’s “something about art,” too. That’s why we made sure to include it in our support of education in the communities we serve. We know it’s an important part of a well-rounded education. And it’s an important part of making the world a better place.