Designers created pop-art posters for this year’s Best Picture contenders

By B.G. Henne

It’s the end of February, which means most folks either have an actual seasonally appropriate flu bug, or else they’ve got Oscar fever (sympathies to those who suffer from both).
Oscar week means trying to get caught up on the major nominations you’ve missed, griping about snubs, and pausing to watch nominees turn in horrible early career performances.

Even stock media purveyor Shutterstock is vulnerable to the charms of the golden statue. They’ve tasked designers with assembling their own pop-art version of Best Picture nominees (using Shutterstock high-quality images, of course). The posters cover a range of styles, and each piece is accompanied by commentary about the artist’s inspirations and approach to their respective subject. The full collection is available to view here.

Pop Art iconography a hit with collectors

IN under three years, Sukeshi Sondhi has managed to sell more than 50 canvases - not bad for a new artist. Most of them are screenprint paintings of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, rendered in a Pop Art style popularised by iconic artist Andy Warhol.
The collection of works is titled An Icon and a Legend. She explains, "People think the icon and the legend both stand for Mr Lee, but actually, the icon is Mr Lee and the legend is Warhol."
Originally from India, Sondhi became a Singapore citizen five years ago. While attending a Warhol exhibition at the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands in 2012, she was approached by a gallerist to submit her works to an upcoming exhibition titled Your Singapore, which was funded by the Singapore Tourism Board.
Sondhi had already been doing Indian Pop Art and she wanted to deepen her connection with Singapore. She picked Mr Lee as the subject because "he is the only person who is truly iconic in Singapore", she says.
"Also, Warhol and Mr Lee are contemporaries who both rose to fame in the 1960s," she adds.
Of the many available pictures of Mr Lee throughout the decades, Sondhi settled on a youthful image of him from the 1960s, one she calls "Man on a Mission." To her, the expression on Mr Lee's face conveys the idea that he is "going to conquer the world and put us on a map... he looks regal and charismatic".
Like Warhol's depiction of famous figures such as Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon, Sondhi repeats this one image several times using different colours and on different canvases to emphasise Mr Lee's iconic status.
The paintings have been a hit with collectors, with some buying more than one canvas to give their friends and loved ones.
Senior banker Eugene Yang, a repeat client of hers, bought three paintings. He says, "Other artists take a sombre approach when depicting Mr Lee, but Sukeshi has captured him at his fiery best - this is a man you'd want to meet."
Ms Sondhi's paintings range from S$800 to S$5,000, depending on size, and are available for purchase via her website

Notts: Exhibition of work by Pop Art forefather Richard Hamilton to open at Lakeside Arts

Works by one of the most important printmakers of the late 20th century, Richard Hamilton, are going on display at Nottingham’s Lakeside Arts next month.
Dubbed the forefather of Pop Art, the themes and concerns of Hamilton’s paintings and drawings were also pursued in his graphic works on which he collaborated with some of the greatest master printers of the 20th century.
The selection of 43 works on display represents the full range of his technical accomplishments from traditional engraving, etching and aquatint, to screen printing in the 1960s.
The exhibition ends with the newly emergent digital media embraced by the artist in his later years.
His use of imagery from popular culture is reflected in such early prints in the exhibition as Adonis in Y-Fronts from 1963, and the 1991 laser print Just What Is Is That Made Yesterday’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?
The original 1956 collage on which the latter work is based featured a muscle man surrounded by various consumer goods of the modern home and is one of the most iconic images of the Pop Art movement.
Equally famous was Hamilton’s series of prints titled Swingeing London.
They depict Mick Jagger hand-cuffed in a police car following his arrest for drugs possession in 1967.
Hamilton also designed The Beatles’ White Album and the exhibition includes a digital reinterpretation of a folded collage of the Fab Four that was originally sold within the record sleeve.
Made in 2007, it proved to be the artist’s last print.
Contemporary and political issues provide the subjects for other of Hamilton’s prints including a number of works concerning the troubles in Northern Ireland.
The Citizen, from 1985, makes reference to the ‘dirty protest’ by IRA prisoners in the Maze prison in the late 1970s.
Others depict a parading Orangeman and a patrolling British soldier.

The exhibition runs from 7th March to 31st May and entry is free.

A Handy Guide to Pop Master Roy Lichtenstein

By Sehba Mohammad on February 2, 2015

Most people instantly recognize pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s blown-up reproductions of comic strips and advertisements, populated by hard-edged figures and made up of hundred of Ben-Day dots. Aside from aficionados, many don’t know much else about the painter, sculptor, and filmmaker, who over the course of his three-decade career became one of pop art’s leading figures, creating a style that was smart, original, fun, and accessible. To give some insight we’ve put together a handy list of resources that will get you up to speed on both the artist and his artworks.

The Artist
The New York Times article was written by art critic extraordinaire Holland Cotter in lieu of the 2012 exhibition Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at the National Gallery of Art. The write-up touches upon the pop icon’s beginnings at Manhattan’s Art Students League and his inclusion in famed dealer Leo Castelli’s stable. It also goes into depth about the artist’s evolution from depictions of cartoon characters to art historical homages.
The Life and Art of Roy Lichtenstein

The 49-minute documentary mainly comprises of a revealing interview with Lichtenstein, interspersed with narrations about the artist’s life and additional interviews with people close to the artist including his gallerist, Leo Castelli. The film reveals intricate details about the artist’s subject matter and practice.

“Crash! Bang! Boom! It’s Roy!” By David Bowie
Interview Magazine
The conversation between pop legends, Bowie and Lichtenstein, reveals the lighter side of the painter, who reveals his motives behind using Mickey Mouse in his early works, referring to the cartoon character as so American and anti art. Bowie’s questions range from technical: “why do you feel that a romantic or emotional situation needs to be represented mechanically?” to more broad ranged: “does the general public know when it’s looking at art?” Lichtenstein responds to all of them in his characteristic straightforward and causal manner.

The Artworks
The Museum Syndicate website has a representative selection of Lichtenstein’s artwork. They include his iconic ’60s romantic comic book works, such as Hopeless (1963), depicting a teary eyed dejected woman, as well as his ’70s pieces, rife with art historical references. The site also contains a few of his later, abstract works such as Water Lilies with Cloudcan, painted in 1992, five years before he died.

Public Sculptures/ Public Murals
The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established a few years after the artist died to continue his legacy. The foundation websites contains a comprehensive list of the artist’s public works located all over the country, and world. They run the gamut from an aluminum sculpture of a house at the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to a 6-by-53-foot canvas installed in the New York City subway station.

Roy Lichtenstein: Sculpture and Drawings
Although he was famous for his paintings Lichtenstein also created many sculptures and drawings. In fact the artist was trained in classical drawings, and used the medium throughout his life for private records and to workout the details of his paintings. The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC held the first retrospective of the artist’s sculpture and drawings in 1999. The website allows you to tour the show via images.
Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective (2012)

The book Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, gives a more thorough overview of Lichtenstein’s work. Written and compiled by curatorial genius James Rondeau, it examines the pop master’s entire oeuvre, featuring 130 paintings and sculptures, along with lesser known drawings and collages. It includes essays by historian Yve-Alain Bois, curator Chrissie Iles, and scholar Stephen Little. However, what really adds gravitas to the book is a  complete chronology of the artist work, compiled by the Lichtenstein Foundation.