Friday, December 5, 2008

Roy Lichtenstein Vs. The Beyonder!

This image and character are copyright Marvel Comics and it serves them right. Art by Al Milgrom, Steve Leialoha, and Christie Scheele, words by Jim Shooter.

Like it or not, appropriation seems like the dominant modality in the arts these days. I kinda hate it. I'm fine with the idea of people using my material but if I'm gonna art, I wanna art my way.

That said, I'm in school. My last assignment for my printmaking class was to produce an image that critiques, whether positively or negatively, another artist. Look, if I really admire someone I'm not going to be able to do their thing. That's why I admire them, right?

So I was pissing and moaning to mi amigo Pablo last night and he said, "What about the guy who does that Micheal Jackson shit? Or that horrible dude who does comic book panels?"

I will admit I'd considered Jeff Koons. I've got an image in my mind of his Ciccolina portrait laid over a picture of his stainless steel bunny, their eyes superimposed.

But Lichtenstein. Fuck, I hate him. Well, hate isn't the right word. But it makes me angry to think that a no-talent jerkoff like that has such a prominent position in art history. It makes no fucking sense.

I'll acknowledge that it takes a good deal of technical skill to do what he did. But anyone who can do detail painting on custom vans has that much technical skill. Fuck a bunch of technical skill. The man's work is utterly dead and soulless. When I went online to research his shit, I went in with a negative opinion and I came out thinking that I had no idea of how bad he really was.

So when I went to look at the copy of Secret Wars II number three that I keep in the glove box of the car (that, along with a collection of twelve hundred anecdotes, keeps me from going nuts when waiting for the missus) I was amazed to find a panel that seemed to be making fun of my opinion of Mr. Lichtenstein. I had to run with it.

What's funny is that the production of this piece wound up being a real pain in the ass. A lot more work than you'd imagine. Just scan it in and add some colors and...

And try and make the blacks black and the whites white when you're scanning in a comic book that's more than twenty years old, with the old-school shitty printing they had back then. Take out all the benday dots and then build them all over again in Illustrator. It wasn't hard but it was sure as shit laborious.

My, my, my. Tomorrow I get back to the Tyrannosaur/Edmontosaur piece.


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