Lithograph and screenprint, on wove paper, with full margins
Signed, dated and numbered 57/108 in pencil, published by the Lincoln Center List Poster and Print Project, New York. Framed.
49 1/2 x 25 x 1 1/2 in
63 x 126 cm
Robert Longo burst onto the New York art scene as a brash 25-year-old with “Men in the Cities,” his iconic 1983 large-scale charcoal drawings of businessmen posing in uncanny contortions. “I always imagine that I want to make art that is going to kill you,” he said in 1984. “Whether it’s going to do it visually or physically, I’ll take either way.” Longo works and reworks his charcoal into thick-textured surfaces, giving his velvety drawings deep, blackened expanses and sharply contrasting whites; his forms are at once representational and softly elusive. Having been fascinated with popular culture as a child, Longo centers his practice on transposing images and the resulting transformation of meaning, linking him with the Pictures Generation. “An artist should know art history,” he says. “Shock value only lasts so long.” His recent works have included series depicting women in burkas, ocean waves, nuclear explosions, views of Sigmund Freud’s apartment, and zoo animals in cages.
This image is part of Longo's series Monsters (2000-2004), which was featured at the 2004 Whitney Biennial. In it, he depicts massive waves breaking with expressionistic, sweeping gestures of his hand. The virtuosity of this hand is evident in all of Longo's compositions; oftentimes, his drawings are almost impossible to distinguish from his photographic works.
The work was created to benefit Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.