I have been fascinated with Roy Lichtenstein's 'In the car' since I first saw it hanging at National portrait gallery, London. First look at it and you will say to yourself well its another 1960's pop art, its great and all but whats so fascinating? This painting is in Roy's typical style of creating massive artworks out from relatively small sources like comic books. Its a fascinating piece with handpainted dots to create an impression of the halftone effect used in comics. But I got interested in this piece because of the mood, It has a sense of loneliness to it. It make you want to ask the question ....who is driving who ?? The first look and you will say the man is driving because the frame shows only partial hand and its hard to make out if its his or hers. Another important reason is that New york has left hand driven vehicles and the man is sitting towards the left. Anyways what do you think are the chances of a woman driving over a man, that too in 1960's?? mmmm....20:80
But than take a second look and its clear that the woman is driving and the guy is all green-eyed. First evidence would be that the woman is alert and looking ahead towards the road whereas the man just looks a little distracted. And the second reason is bit obscure and requires a little bit of research. It come clear that the woman is driving because the original comic strip included a thought bubble which read 'I vowed to myself I would not miss my appointment - That I would not go riding with him - yet before I knew it...", it says it all.
And my psychoanalysis also says they are not in love and there is nothing lonelier than sitting in the front seat of a car with someone you don't love anymore.
Art is so deceptive sometimes, and the readings can differ from one viewer to another.