Sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein sells for HK$80.5 million at auction

Lichtenstein, Sunlight & Moonlight (recto and verso)_eff

American artist Roy Lichtenstein’s work is widely recognised for its characteristic pop art style and comic strip-inspired motifs.

During his hey-day in the 1960s, he used tiny dots – similar to the Ben Day dots that were once used in comics, but more exaggerated – to give his characters shading and dimension. The technique quickly became one of his hallmarks, and those iconic red dots can be seen in one of the latest Lichtenstein pieces to head to the auction block. The sculpture, Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight, sold for US$10.3 million (HK$80.5 million) at Phillips auction house in New York on 18 May.

Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight was created in 1996, just a year before Lichtenstein died of pneumonia in New York City. It is also considered to be one of the finest works of his career. At more than three feet tall (nearly one metre), the bust is quite the head-turner, especially when placed in an otherwise drab room. It’s double-sided and shows a unique image of a woman on each side.

Lichtenstein frequently portrayed – and parodied – stereotypically masculine and feminine roles as they were depicted in comics.

The artist once said, “I’m interested in what would normally be considered the worst aspects of commercial art.” Indeed, that is the stuff that good art is made of.

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