Roy Lichtenstein, one of the great artists of the 20th century, was famous for his cartoony style. His bright colours and overblown, comic book art made his art highly distinctive but also accessible. Like many in the Pop Art movement, he explored the difference between art and crowd pleasing illustration. By taking existing comic book images and reproducing them, complete with Benday Dots, on a large scale, he challenges preconceptions about what is art.
It is not surprising that Liechtenstein should cross paths with Tintin. The bold lines and strong colours of Herge are a natural fit to Liechenstein’s own work. So when his long-time friend, Frederic Tuten, said he was writing a book using the character of Tintin re-imagined as an full grown adult, the artist supplied two pieces of art featuring Tintin.
“Tintin Reading” was used as the cover to Tintin in the New World and shows Tintin reading newspaper as an assassin’s dagger whistles past. In the back ground can be seen a depiction of Henri Matisse’s “Dance (I)“. This reference to Matisse is far from accidental. Matisse use of colour, particularly as part of Fauvism was highly influencal on artist throught out the 20th centry, including Lictenstein.
The second work for the book is entitled “Interior with Painting of Tintin. This looks like an early sketch for the cover work. The scene is almost identical except that Tintin has moved from the foreground and become a painting replacing Matisse’s Dance (i).