My favorite painter is the great pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. By blurring the boundaries between “high art” and mass culture, he reinforced the idea that art doesn’t have hierarchies. Art can borrow anything and from anywhere. He used our modern society’s imagery to help us to question what we see and value. But that’s not the sole reason I really like his work.
I’ve always been fascinated by his Jewish background and the Jewish influence on his work. But that’s not the only reason I like his work either.
It’s because his work was so heavily criticized by art critics. Life magazine asked, “Is he the worst artist in the U.S.?” After visiting Lichtenstein’s debut solo show, the great art critic Max Kozloff said that “art galleries are being invaded by the pin-headed and contemptible style of gum-chewers, bobby-soxers, and worse, delinquents.”
I love the criticism of Lichtenstein’s work, because, at heart, it exposed the true nature of art. Art is creativity, passion, and personal expression. To really understand art, you have to create it. You have to get your hands dirty. You have to be inspired. You even have to sit in front of a blank canvas at times and wait for inspiration to strike.
For most of us, we don’t have enough opportunities to create. But this time we’ve got you covered. Come join our Young Leadership Division for their Paint the Town event next week and the week after for two nights (pick one, or come to both) of sushi, snacks, sips (of wine!), and creating your own masterpiece. The events will be held on Wednesday, January 27 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. at The Messy Artist in East Hanover and on Monday, February 1 from 7 – 9 p.m. at Pinot’s Palette in Summit.
Hopefully, you won’t feel like the worst artist in the U.S. afterwards. Fortunately, that title has already been taken.
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