Live Ammo (Ha! Ha! Ha!) (1962) by Roy LichensteinChrysler Museum of Art
The highly charged, emotional subject matter is at odds with Lichtenstein’s impersonal techniques, drawn from comic books of the era: clear lines, bold colors, and red 'Ben-Day' dots, complete with a speech bubble that dominates the composition.
A True Story About Joseph Beuys No. 5 (Red Pilot Shot His Plane. The Plane Falls and Breaks) (1998) by Kęstutis GrigaliūnasMO Museum / MO muziejus
Joseph Beuys was born in Germany 1921, and had fought as a gunner in the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. After the war he reinvented himself as a conceptual and performance artist, and became notorious for his unusual works and even more unusual self-mythology.
Beuys claimed that his life had been changed after being shot down over the USSR. He said that he was found, freezing and injured, by Crimean Tartars, who smeared him with lard, wrapped him in felt and, having saved his life, allowed him to be spiritually reborn.
How much of Beuys' story is true is debated. But Beuys' later works drew on what he described as 'shamanic' practices, and incorporated felt, fat, animals, gold, and honey as symbols of this rebirth.
Grigaliūnas' series tells Beuy's story in comic style, including all the absurd and playful parts as if it were a cartoon. The mismatch between Beuys' serious conceptual art and intellectual status and Grigaliūnas' comic style only adds to the humour of this work.
Grigaliūnas' series doesn't shy away from political comments. Other panels from the series note that Beuys had volunteered to fight for the Nazis, and that after the war he managed to make a lot of money and important friends. But Grigaliūnas seems more occupied with the myth.
Grigaliūnas interprets a story that was already a mythology, and recalls an artistic style that was long out of fashion. This layering of truth and fiction and aesthetics was being explored by many artists of the 1990s, and this tendency persists to this day.
A True Story About Joseph Beuys No. 3 (This Is a Fascist German Military Pilot Joseph Beuys) (1998) by Kęstutis GrigaliūnasMO Museum / MO muziejus