Melvyn Bragg interviewed Roy Lichtenstein for The South Bank Show in 1990, filming him in his New York studio.
Lichtenstein, who died in 1997, was the artist hailed by one newspaper in 1964 as ‘One of the Worst Artists in America Today’ but whose works fetch tens of millions today. In the opening of the documentary we see his Torpedo...Los! achieve $5.5 million at auction, a record at the time.
Lichtenstein is a man who one would have found very difficult to dislike, with a twinkling innocence and an honesty that is innately watchable. He and Bragg trace the progress of a remarkable career beginning with his famous enlarged comic strip panels and his trademark use of the Benday dot. Lichtenstein also demonstrates his process of enlargement for the cameras and various recognisable techniques of The South Bank Show, such as the artist confronting his work as an overhead projection, are used to good effect.
The film also accompanies Lichtenstein as he goes to see some of Picasso’s work at first hand for the first time.
Extras include an information booklet, picture gallery and trailers.