a panting by Roy Lichtenstein created in 1963, capturing the portrait of a
woman in tears. His subject matter, use of color, and focal point produce a
gloomy mood accompanied by the artist’s pop-up style that both attract the
viewer and makes them sympathize with the woman in the painting.
The subject matter is the
message that the author is trying to convey, Lichtenstein conveys this message
of sadness through the expression of the girl and the text accompanied by her.
The text reads “That’s the way – it should
have begun! But it’s hopeless!”, in
a bubble that in the pop-up and cartoon world usually signifies thoughts
instead of direct quotes. This is a very emotional painting that almost comes
across as a heartbreak. This woman in tears reflecting over a possible broken
romance that has no way of continuing because of a bad “start”. The words
“should” and “begun” look bolded compared to the others, which reinforces this
belief and version of the painting.
Although the text does
reinforce the idea of a heartbreak, it is not exactly the focal point of the
art piece, and even one of the last things that grab the viewer’s attention.
The face of the woman covers most of the canvas, but what captures attention
the most are her eyes. As people say, sometimes our eyes speak louder than
words, and that is what Lichtenstein might have tried to get across. Her
expression screams sadness, the curve of her eyebrows, the way her eyes are not
completely open, and most obvious the tears running on her face. Her close-up
is made to evoke and emotion of sorrow for whoever looks at it.
At last, the bright
colors of the painting are what give it character and add to this particular art
style. Starting from her flashing blonde hair to the red and black background,
every detail enhances the piece. Such simple and used colors that brought
together perform a strong impact. The pink color of her skin highlight her
light blue eyes, complementing the negative space that serves as her tears,
which we follow all the way to the blue platform she’s laying on filled with
her fallen tears. The dark colors of red and black make the text bubble more
visible to the eye. Her bright hair and the bolded curvy strokes along it, her
face, her shirt, help the pop-up style that Lichtenstein is famous for.
Lichtenstein created Hopeless, a heart-felt painting that
connects this woman to the viewer leaving them wondering what happened to her
and what could have made her so upset. With his use of focal point, color, and
subject matter, he succeeds in portraying a sad topic by using a cartoonish
style that is usually connected with more cheerful themes.