The Self-Portraits of Roy Lichtenstein: Some Reflections and Re-Definitions

By Carol Salus.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Various paintings by Roy Lichtenstein, the most cerebral of Pop artists, raise the issue of self portraiture. The artist initially presents himself with his palette before an easel. The source of an early pre-Pop portrait indicates his self-effacing humor. There are also abstract self portraits inspired by the work of the Futurist painter, Severini. Most problematic of all is Lichtenstein's "Self Portrait" (1978) in which a blank mirror appears on top of a t-shirt. The depiction of an artist wearing a beret in his studio and "Man Hit by the 21st Century" are also identified as self portraits. Lichtenstein clearly liked to be portrayed. Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt, Robert Mapplethorpe as well as portraits by Chuck Close and Andy Warhol establish that he enjoyed being portrayed. Lichtenstein clearly mocked the notion of any kind of unconscious revelations provided by a frontal self portrait. I believe that if Roy Lichtenstein wanted to paint a self-portrait, he would have. His self portraiture, as I intend to demonstrate, appears in many significant ways.

Keywords: Self-Portraits, Roy Lichtenstein

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.89-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.772MB).

Dr. Carol Salus

Associate Professor, Division of Art History, Kent State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Carol Salus is associate professor in the division of art history at Kent State University. She is co-editor of Out of Context: American Artists Abroad (Greenwood Press, 2004). Her writings appear in Art Bulletin, National American Biography, Jewish Art, Printmaking Today, Shofar, Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, Schatzkamer der Deutschen Sprache, Dichtung, und Geschichte, Analecta Husserliana, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Celestinesca, Sculpture and others. She has twice been an invited speaker at the American Institute of Medical Education. She has been a speaker at Hebrew University (2006). She received her doctorate from The Ohio State University.

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