Postmodernism AnatomizedBy Joel John
October 16, 2018
The Drowning Girl – Roy Lichtenstein
An ambiguous splatter of paint, or semi-connected lines that resemble something obscure, or layers of unfiltered coloured oils struck over the thick canvas that absorbs it for an indefinite number of years until it, God forbid, perish due to mishandling, or lines of indefinite patterns that questions the very imagination prowess of an adult. These are barely the scratched ahem etched (pun intended) surface of the human creation called art. Art falls under many a category, sessions, eras. It is almost impossible to comprehend the detailed knowledge on almost all the works by an individual. Various controversies and debates go hand in hand with each work. The idea of one perishes when another brings forth a new and thought-provoking insight; The very existence of postmodernism is a result of paradigm and philosophical ideas that caused a rift between formalism and anti-formalism. The creation of one form from the destruction of its predecessor or the separation of an idea long remembered for one. And thus the creation of postmodernism.
During the second half of the 20th century, the creative folks of the art culture experimented and ‘tripped’ various ideas which are now ubiquitous in nature. Invariably known throughout our generation as PopArt, Collage art, minimalism, postminimalism, Fluxus, etc., are the said movements that were born as a result.
PopArts are now a major influence and impact on our modern day to day life. Advertisements and news draw our short coursed attention to their products with it. Even recreational art activities are considerably common.
From whom was it birthed, you ask? It is not quite exact, but Lawrence Alloway, who was one of the firsts to experiment and display the Pop Arts, termed such creative works as “mass popular art” around the mid-1950s and later termed the word “Pop art” during the 1960s; This was done to indicate that “art had its basis from the current world, and takes from it a faith in the power of images.”
Let us move deeper into the minds of a few artists. The first work shown below is ‘The drowning girl’ by Roy Lichtenstein (1963).
Waves of the saline liquid splash over the lady saying a monotonous and melancholic line as she drowns. This work was done based on the comic style artwork. “I DON’T CARE! I’D RATHER SINK — THAN CALL BRAD FOR HELP!” Her words float as she drowns. Looking closer now I noticed her hope has faded away as she slowly gets eaten by the blue sea. What certainty is there that she is drowning in a sea? A capsized boat/ship?
An attempt of suicide? Somethings else perhaps. Neither she calls for help nor does she care to be rescued. Her aversion towards this character called Brad. Something from his side he did to anger her. Her hatred for him that broke her mind to let her body sink into the deepest, uncharted, and dark ocean. Maybe it is something else entirely. A betrayal? Confidence that Brad will never come and no one but the cold winds and the salt to accompany her now made her lose hope? The tears of hopeless death, is it? An aberrant concept ‘pop’ in the end. Is this a work of a drama queen who has gone to such lengths to give a histrionic yet an airheaded climax? The words hereby are left unfinished for the readers to speak their insight.
Photo Courtesy: Google