Review of Roy Lichtenstein's "Masterpiece"
By: David K. Montoya

Has any of you ever heard of Roy Lichtenstein? He is perhaps my favorite pop artist, now, before I continue we will be looking at pop art which is defined as an art movement that emerged in Britain and the United States during the mid– to late–1950s through the 1960s. If anyone ho knows me would immediately understand why I enjoy Lichtenstein's art, they are basically huge comic book panels accompanied with word balloons!While I would say that "Bedroom at Arles" is my favorite piece of art from Lichtenstein (because come on that takes guys to blatantly ripoff van Gogh and get away with it), I have decided to to review a piece that he created in 1962 titled, "Masterpiece."

Like much of his work "Masterpiece" is another enlarged comic book panel, but what drew my attention for review is that this 5 1/2 foot x 5 1/2 foot Ben–Day dots painting sold last year for, sit down for this, $165 Million USD, $207,368,700 CAD, £117,734,100 BP or €133,051,050 Euro! This little gem's was apart of Lichtenstein's first exhibition at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, California, it remained on display for a total of 27 days (from April 1, 1963 to April 27, 1963 to be exact).

According to "Lichtenstein FAQs, Part Two" from the Art Institute of Chicago, it was said the source of his work was a comic book panel with two people inside a car but the camera was not completely parallel as to see both characters which were inside. Masterpiece was a spot on replica to the original comic book page with a change in dialogue which said "But someday the bitterness will pass…" On a personal note, I like how Lichtenstein prediction of his own artist future was so boldly displayed as the passenger said, "Why, Brad darling, this painting is a MASTERPIECE! My, soon you'll have all of New York clamoring for your work!" Many believe that her dialogue as she looks upon the painting, which we cannot see other than the blank back of the masterpiece, while Brad displays his agreement though the rendition of his facial expression was a fore–shadow of what was to come for the pop artist.

Which did in fact, come true, and that his masterpiece was actually his masterpiece among all of his artwork with the highest price tag (just an FYI, his piece titled Nurse is Lichtenstein's 2nd most valuable among his collection at $95.4 Million), and it was apart of the largest ever retrospective of Lichtenstein that visited the The Art Institute of Chicago from May 16 to September 3, 2012, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. from October 14, 2012 to January 13, 2013, the Tate Modern in London from February 21 to May 27, 2013 and The Centre Pompidou in France from July 3 to November 4, 2013.

While the art critics made jokes about Roy Lichtenstein and his work, first made in the New York Times, when Roberta Smith stated that his work called "Masterpiece" was produced "faint and uneven" Ben–Day Dots, but in the end Roy Lichtenstein had the last laugh.