Did you think when you started to do these parodies that you were doing something that Picasso had done? Did that sort of give you licence? Or did you only realise afterwards?
I realised afterwards. Picasso’s always been such a huge influence that I thought when I started the cartoon paintings that I was getting away from Picasso, and even my cartoons of Picasso were done almost to rid myself of his influence. I don’t think that I’m over his influence but they probably don’t look like Picassos; Picasso himself would probably have thrown up looking at my pictures.
You’ve done parodies of a whole range of modern styles. Have you had in your mind a number of things which had suggested themselves and were lining up waiting to be done, or did you come upon your models in the course of time?
I think I just came upon them. I had no programme; I always thought each one was the last. But then I’d see something like a way of doing a Monet through just dots that would look like a machine-made Impressionist painting. But then it took me a long time even to do Leger, which seemed like the obvious person for me to do. I’d probably done a little bit of Leger in the context I think of those trompe l’oeil paintings, where there were little pieces of Leger tacked on the wall. Yes, each thing was separate.
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Roy Lichtenstein Landscapes In The Chinese Style is showing at Gagosian Gallery New York