The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

This Week's Lichtenstein #11

In the Car (1963)


Edward said...

I really like your blog very much. I'd probably have more credibility with this comment if I'd posted to that effect earlier, but: Roy Lichtenstein sucks out loud. His draftsmanship is awful, far worse than the underpaid comic artists he ripped off to the tune of millions. As a painter, he's an utter non-starter. He just abdicates the whole issue of color by buying gallons of the four ugliest colors you can find (stupid red, stupid blue, and ultrastupid yellow, plus whatever black) and pretending that they have anything to do with the CMYK dot printing process used in newspaper comics. (They don't--and any close examination of those old comics will show that the printed patterns their dotscreens made were about 400 times more beautiful than RL's dumbed-down allusions to them.) God, does he suck. It's not just about ripping off the original comic artists, most of whom were more talented than he and all of whom had more integrity. It's that he fails utterly to deliver on the vitality of either the medium he poaches from or the one he works in: there is nothing in his work that uses paint in even a slightly interesting way.

You have an excellent blog here. Please consider either dropping the Lichtenstein theme or else, for consistency's sake, including similar threads on artists on his rung quality-wise, like LeRoy Neiman, Mark Kostabi, or Peter Max.

s a m said...

well, I was going to comment on how much this single wordless panel says ... but that guy above is a tough act to follow. very eye opening.

Joe Thompson said...

Edward: Well put.

Sock MonKey 1 said...

I'll have to know a little more about Edward before I sell my Lichtensteins

Lex10 said...

Funny story: I was "backstage" at Christie's New York and was being shown the staging area for items that had been successfully auctioned off. Laying there on the shelves were a Chris Burden notebook, a small Keith Haring acrylic, a color photograph of a naked woman from the neck down with her legs spread, and directly next to that a small Roy Lichtenstein. I was with people who had no interest in art, and I said to the chap showing us the works, "A Lichtenstein." He replied pointing to the photo, "I didn't know her name was Stein!"

swac said...

Does that mean I have an endorsement to start a Thomas Kinkade series?

MadHatter said...

How about doing a "This Week's Will Eisner Splash Page"?..... BTW , Edward....thank you...I wholeheartedly concur.

cavorting with nudists said...

Well, actually, I thought about placing Kinkade on the Licthenstein/Max/Nieman/Kostabi rung, but if they're all D-minuses, I'd probably give Kinkade an F just because while he's more skilled than they are, at least none of them felt the need to bring Jeezus into it.

Kyle said...

Rather than repeat myself:

Seriously, I should have stabbed that professor with a nib pen.

I wholeheartedly support the "Painter of Light" series on the grounds that a Precious Moments series also begin.

In the meantime, there's a whole plethora of genuine talent to pull from: Winsor McKay, George Herriman, Milton Caniff, Chester Gould, E.C. Segar, Jack Kirby, Walt Kelly, and especially Will Eisner.

Tom Sutpen said...


I can't argue *too* strenuously with your point, but my reason for starting the Lichtenstein series (apart from the admitted fact that I like the kind of imagery his paintings very often traffic in) is that, by its nature, it has a specific function in the overall scheme of this blog. His work connects to, echoes off of, harmonizes with other series' here.


Kincade? You go right ahead; y'got my endorsement (which, in the interests of full disclosure, is not really required for you to sally forth into New Series-ville).


I would love to do series' on all of those artists. Problem is I can't find very much of their work online; at least not in quantities for a multiple entry series.

Brooks said...

If you can save Kincaid from drowning then go for it. Otherwise... spare us.