Original Artwork by James Rosenquist
Title: Fireworks for President Clinton
Framed Size: 27 x 26.25 inches
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Artist Bio: James Rosenquist
(courtesy of Artnet.com)
James Rosenquist (American, b.1933) is notorious for being the most openly political artist associated with the Pop Art movement. His mother was also a painter and encouraged her son to pursue his interest in art. Rosenquist studied art at the University of Minnesota under the artist Cameron Booth, and spent summers working as a contractor, becoming skilled in the realm of commercial painting. He painted his first billboard in 1954, and a year later was awarded a scholarship to attend the Art Students League in New York. After completing his studies, he began a career as a commercial billboard painter, excelling in his trade and laying the foundations for his later large-scale compositions. In 1960 he took a one-year hiatus to devote himself entirely to his artistic career, and developed a unique style ofpainting on the scale of a commercial billboard.
His fragmented imagery drew from many commercial, social, and politicalsources, often with sharply political implications. During the Vietnam War, Rosenquist continued to paint on a large scale but became more openly critical of the American military-industrial complex, resulting in such controversial works as F-111 Bomber, which fuses images of the American Dream with darker suggestions of nuclear war, missiles, and the emblematic U.S. fighter-bomber. Works like F-111 critique American consumerism by echoing the very means and scale by which consumers are informed. By using the distinct scale of advertising, Rosenquist’s work transcends the limitations of a traditionally-sized painting to present a disjointed view of society from afar.