Still Life with Brushes, Shell and Star Fish, 1972
Roy Lichtenstein was one of the leading painters of the Pop Art movement. During the 1960s he translated banal advertisements and adventure comic strips into large-scale paintings, using bright, flat colors and hard-edge, precise drawing. Benday dots, integral to the photo-mechanical printing process, are exaggerated to the point of becoming design elements in the art.
Still Life with Brushes, Shell and Star Fish belongs to a series of paintings by Lichtenstein that investigates the styles and subjects of art history. In this painting, Lichtenstein defies our expectations for the still life by rendering it in the visual language of the comic strip. He reminds us that the process of mechanical reproduction reduces all works of art to simple arrangements of dots. …
"What interests me is to paint the kind of anti-sensitivity that impregnates modern civilization. I think art since Cezanne has become extremely romantic and unrealistic, feeding on art. It is Utopian. It has less and less to do with the world. It looks inward — neo-Zen and all that. Pop Art looks out into the world. It doesn't look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself."