Sunday, October 1, 2017

James Rosenquist by Cameron Rosen

     James Rosenquist (November 29, 1933 - March 31, 2017) was one of the leading American Pop artist's from the 1960's. The Pop art movement involves the use of commercial art techniques to display popular images and everyday objects. Rosenquist began as a billboard painter, and utilised this experience as inspiration for his work. He used images from print advertisements, photographs, and popular newspapers and magazines to piece together his compositions. Rosenquist explored the mediums of painting, collage, drawing, and printmaking. His work has ignited questions about economics, romance, and ecology, as well as the cosmic and existential.
President Elect, 1960-61/1964. Oil on masonite. 
     Rosenquist worked on this painting on two different occasions. He began the painting in 1960, but then repainted the President Elect in 1964, after Kennedy's death. This is significant because this painting was done at two different points in history. Rosenquist's thought to repaint this piece after a major historical event shows his reliance of current events on his work. 

Marilyn Monroe, I, 1962. Oil and spray enamel on canvas. 
     This piece by Rosenquist was the painting that caught my eye while flipping through The Museum of Modern Art, New York book. I appreciated how even though he did not obviously depict Marilyn's face, I would be able to tell who it was based on her physical features, even without the text. The more mellow colors in this painting contrast to Rosenquist's other pieces that typically utilise bright and bold paints. This painting was in between paintings by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, both of which used intense lines and contrasting colors; but I still was drawn to this painting opposed to any others. 

Star Thief, 1980. Oil on canvas.
     In this painting Rosenquist combined common objects, for example the pieces of bacon, the bolt, and the human face, with celestial and unearthly images. This takes Pop art to the next level by incorporating popular images from culture with the unknown of space. The intense color of this painting is an example of a more classic Rosenquist piece. 

     I chose to research James Rosenquist because I think my style of art is most similar to Pop art. I love using bright colors and am an interested in the idea of taking inspiration from what we experience around us and what is popular in our society at the moment. I think James Rosenquist combines an interesting level of reality and imagination that I admire. 

Works Cited

“BIOGRAPHY.” James Rosenquist, VAGA New York,
     Accessed 29 Sept. 2017.

Lobel, Michael, and James Rosenquist. James Rosenquist: pop art, politics, and history in the 1960s.
     Berkeley, CA, University of California Press, 2010.

Rosenquist, James. “Marilyn Monroe, I.” MoMALearning, MoMA, Accessed 29
     Sept. 2017.

Rosenquist, James. “President Elect.” Guggenheim, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2017, Accessed 29 Sept. 2017.

Rosenquist, James. “Star Theif.” James Rosenquist, VAGA New York, Accessed 29 Sept.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, H.N. Abrams, 1986.

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