Now why would I possibly pick this famous artist? Well, I'm currently in Chicago and I just visited his exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute. I walked in a sceptic, thinking 'who the hell is this guy?' and I walked out a fan. Such a body of work, covering such a diverse range of seemingly mundane subjects. He painted large versions of ordinary household objects like a spray can, or a transistor radio, or sneakers and got your interest straight away. His most famous work, however, was his comic strip re-creations featuring romance and war. This all started in 1961 with his painting of Mickey Mouse ('Look Mickey'), using hard-edged figures and Ben Day dots. Actually one of his sons pointed to a comic book and said :- "I bet you can't do as good as that, eh Dad?" It was to rapidly lead to world-wide fame as the leading figure in Pop Art. So now I knew who this guy was. After admitting my ignorance I fell in love with much of his work. But you know me :- "Would I be content to just admire his style without checking his profile in 'Life Cycles terms?".
So let's do that, shall we? Let's ask ourselves a simple question :- "Did what happened in Roy Lichtenstein's 36th year (27th. October,1959 to 27th. October, 1960) consist of a 'breakthrough moment' in career terms? Central to his whole life's work." Let's put the spotlight on this 12 months. It is stated that during this time he began a position as Assistant Professor of art at Rutgers University and there met a fellow teacher, Allan Kaprow, and through him many of the up-coming leading figures in the art world of the day. Kaprow was one of the originators of the 'Happenings' of the 60's and 70's and Roy attended some early informal versions. These influences helped re-ignite his interest in Proto-pop Imagery. He also brings several of his abstract canvases to the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. It was in the next year he painted Mickey and other cartoon figures and then he had his first one-man show at the Castelli Gallery of these works that would make him famous. So this twelve months is exactly where he discovered his 'creative milieu' ; the melting pot that was to give birth to his 'rise to fame'. There is no question that in this central, mid-life 'Year of Revolution' he was 'in the right place at the right time'. It was his own personal 'Happening'.
Isn't this just like so many others? Read and consider. Has there been a 'Revolution' in your life too at 36? You're not 36 yet? Hey, this is the best part. That's why I want to speak with you now. If you don't think your time has come yet, then just wait a bit. Help to make me part of your Pop Culture. Read this blog and my other blog and then my books and I will change the way you look at your life.