Image Duplicator exhibition at Orbital Comics in May
No, that’s not a Roy Lichtenstein, it’s Dave ‘Watchmen’ Gibbons after Irv Novick and this is his entry for the Image Duplicator show that starts in May at the Orbital comics gallery in London. The aim of the show is to highlight the original artists that Lichtenstein copied and produce a new take on their images, much the same as he did. The difference in this case will be that the show will mainly consist of comic book artists and commercial illustrators and be held in a gallery in a comic shop rather than an art gallery. The exhibition is the brainchild of designer Rian Hughes who has long written about the contradictions between what is deemed high and lo art and is a champion of showcasing lost or forgotten artists’ work.
For those unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of Lichtenstein’s aping of others’ work as his own, take a look at this amazing site by David Barsalou called DECONSTRUCTING ROY LICHTENSTEIN. He has painstakingly tracked as many of the sources that Lichtenstein copied and presents the two side by side, the results are quite shocking both in how exactly he copied and how bad or bland the results are.
There was a great documentary on about him on the BBC just two weeks ago called, ‘Whaam!’ It covered his career from both sides of the story as well as featuring a section with Dave Gibbons making his case for the originals over Lichtenstein’s copies. The Image Duplicator show runs for two weeks between May 16th-31st, centered around the same time that The Tate Modern end their Lichtenstein retrospective. There is still time to enter if you fancy it and any proceeds from sales of prints will be given to the Hero Initiative charity that looks after the welfare of senior comic creators.
In another nice piece of synchronicity, this week the story broke about the aging British artist Brian Sanders who was sought out by the producers of Mad Men to illustrate posters for the new series in his old style. They found his originals in a book called, ‘Lifestyle Illustration of the 60′s’ and asked their art department to draft something in the same fashion. Rather than copy the style they went and found Sanders and the results speak for themselves. Just by coincidence, the person who put the book together that they saw the work in was none other than Rian Hughes.