If your life is so sad and pathetic as to have none of The Pixies music in it, then here; I’ve got some for you:
There you go, you owe me bigtime.
Now, let us turn our attention to the exhibition opening on Saturday at the National Gallery which I got to look at today because I too am cool (but not as cool as Roy Lichtenstein or The Pixies).
When I was a very little tacker I was lucky enough to be dragged around a lot of art galleries. Feet sore and frequently bored out of my mind I always came away with something that had blown my mind.
More often than not, I was to come to realise the things that had excited me were by Roy Lichtenstein.
This was no accident, his most famous works play with the style of comic books which were pretty much the whole of my pocket money spend back then.
(And seriously, if you’ve got a choice between a vase of flowers and an exploding jet fighter which are you going to go with?)
This exhibition starts (as they often do) slowly with early work almost unrecognisable to an audience that knows only the famous works.
I’m not saying the early abstracts are Picasso knockoffs, but if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Picasso must have been pretty damn flattered. (A striking similarity to Jackson Pollock’s early stuff too now that I think about it).
It’s a frankly fascinating progression through the exhibition from deep dark abstract art where you have to guess at what shapes represent, through to what at first glance are very simple representations.
Those images on closer inspection tend to be a few simple lines and the cunning use of dots to fool our brains into thinking we know what we’re looking at.
The Mirror series mid way through gives a really clear look into how he was starting to bring his techniques together.
He then does the trick backwards with the bull series, which starts with a clearly recognisable bull, and then progresses it to an abstract essence of bull-ness.
The thing I liked most of all with this exhibition is the mighty sense of humour in the collected works.
If you’re not getting the jokes take a second look at his haystacks series, or “Still life with lobster“.
The Gallery has put together an excellent educational resource (let it load fully) if you want to bone up before going.
It should also be noted that Roy Lichtenstein’s clear lines and bright colours make his work really suitable for modern decor, the gift shop will be a handy handy place to get something for the wall.
Even better the exhibition is free. There’s just no reason not spend a quick hour enjoying something very beautiful and here to enjoy until January.
Now if we can just get The Pixies to Canberra we’ll be onto a winner.
[Pictured: Ken Tyler opening the exhibition]