My First Print (maybe) / A note on Pop Art
My mom saved EVERYTHING - and piece by piece, is giving it all to me, including this print.
I made this linocut back in high school. It was probably my first relief print that required the use of a knife. Do you like it? I did when I first saw it, so I stole the image- it's a copy of a Roy Lichtenstein print.
Pop Art was a leading art movement in mid century USA and UK that challenged the traditional and elitist gallery culture by elevating popular or mass produced images into the fine art community. Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) was a leader in this movement and is most well known for his comic strip style paintings. His peers include Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Marjorie Strider, and more.
Another Lichtenstein piece follows:
The above image, "Ohhh ... Alright ...", 1964 is actually a painting mimicking printmaking marks as they might appear in comics making my print a copy of a painting copying a print (what!).
Printmaking - or the reference to printmaking - was important during this movement because prints/photos/multiples are by nature more accessible versus exclusive; they are designed to reach many, not one wealthy patron. As a form of broad communication, they are often used in advertising, and other mass market operations allowing the images to be found across sectors in society. By bringing these images into the gallery, the artists were highlighting the separation of class in our culture, along with poking fun at the esoteric question - "What is art?". Contemporary artists like Shepard Fairey are continuing to challenge the status quo through print.
And while many new technologies have placed traditional printmaking squarely into a fine art genre, the power of print remains it's accessible and inclusive nature. What is the advantage of one of a kind? That said - I don't think I ever so directly copied another work as I did in my first print.