In 1962, Roy Lichtenstein is inspired by comics with romantic themes and he paints Kiss II. “At that time, I was interested in anything I could use as a subject that was emotionally strong – usually love, war, or something that was highly charged and emotional subject matter to be opposite to the removed and deliberate painting techniques.”
The artist will participate to the New Realist exhibition at Sydney Janis Gallery opening on November 1st 1962, which will be key in the launch of Pop art.
Andy Warhol, also in the famous exhibition, had been inspired by comics too early on and had decided to abandon the subject after seeing the work of Lichtenstein since he wanted to have a subject that could be his own.
Thomas Hess wrote about the Janis Exhibition that “the point of the exhibition was to show that the New had arrived and it was time for all the old fogies to pack”
Sources: Lichtenstein Foundation
Peter Selz: Sketches of a Life in Art, By Paul J. Karlstrom
Christies catalogue exhibition
Roy Kiss, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 18" (61x 46 cm)