F TBT: Lichtensteined! - jeepneyjinggoy

TBT: Lichtensteined!

Hello Mickey, 1961 American Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein is inspired by the comic strip.

When you’re a lover of modern art and you find yourself in Paris, the Pompidou Center is the place for you. This is one nice place to get lost in when in the French capital city.

I call the Pompidou Museum the “house of quirk”

With every visit to the city I make sure I make my way to this once-controversial “ugly” piece of architecture. I call it “the house of quirk” and I love every inch of the structure and what it holds. It’s the total opposite of what all the Paris museums are all about—fine, structured art. 

In the Pampidou again, this time with Jinky & Tenny

The view from the top. Sacre Couer as seen from the Pompidou Center.

There are pieces I fell in love with and revisit—the Salon Agam, the antechamber of the private apartments of George Pompidou, then the president of France, designed by Israeli kinetic artist, Agam, which I call the Pantone Room; and Warhol’s “Ten Lizes”, an expansive black and white 1963 piece of Elizabeth Taylor. I have a story for each of the ten faces but you really don’t want to hear it. It’s through these personal interpretations that I imprint the artworks’ beauty in my mind, and it’s always a different story with each visit. I always leave smiling. I would recommend it but it will elicit wide-eyed stares from the people around you.

2 of my Pampidou favorites—Warhol’s “Ten Lizes” (above) & Agam’s “Salon” (below)

The most recent visit, I was lucky to catch a large collection of Lichtenstein’s on exhibit. The lines were long at the Pampidou’s entrance and the exhibit floor’s entry but I didn’t mind. 

Been there, done that. Now, we're up here.

Snakelike queue. It took us more than an hour to finally make it inside the exhibition hall.

Almost there. Meanwhile, let me get Lichtensteined!

Not that I haven’t seen the famous works of this American pop artist but this French exhibition held a selection of over a hundred works contained in one floor. It was the “first complete Roy Lichtenstein retrospective (1923-1997) in France.”

In & out, always filled—the exhibition is the first complete Roy Lichtenstein retrospective (1923-1997) in France.

Lichtenstein, along with another favorite artist of mine, Andy Warhol, were two of the leading artists of Pop Art, the new visual art movement in the 1960s. 

Pop! & The Gun in America. Cover illustrations for Newsweek, 1966 & 1968.

While Warhol’s works explore celebrity culture and the 60s advertisement, Lichtenstein expressed his art through parody and the comic strip is his inspiration.

Nudes with BeachBall. 1994

Engagement Ring. 1961.

His famous and influential pieces were among the pieces on display—the “Look Mickey,” the “Drowning Girl” and the “Oh, Jeff…I Love You, Too…But…”, works that are very familiar to me and seen in previous exhibits. 

One of the artists most influential artwork—the Drowning Girl. The artist “pushed the Hokusai waves a little further.”

Whaam!. 1963.  One of the best- known works of pop art, and among Lichtenstein's most important paintings. It is based on an image from 'All American Men of War' published by DC comics in 1962

There were, however, more of the artist’s works that came as a surprise—his interpretation of the Grand Masters of modern painting and classical art, his three-dimensional objects that included a BMW, and art beyond pop, the traditional genres of classical painting—nude, still life.

Three dimensional art of Roy—Blonde, 1965. Painted ceramic.

Lichtenstein x BMW

Lichtenstein’s Mondrian. "A Mondrian with a set of dots is obviously a fake Mondian," said the artist.

The artists take on classical art

As usual, it was another hurried visit as the rest of my travel mates were eager to see more of the Parisian spots. I didn’t mind. I know I will be back to this place, revisit my favorite art pieces and see new ones, come up with new interpretations that will make me smile (while giving other museum patrons a reason to remember me instead of the piece they saw).


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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 13, 2014.