The lithograph's title, Crak, comes from the word that is emblazoned in the background of the painting. Lichtenstein created several onomatopoeic works that centred around words like this one, with Wham! (one of the earliest examples of Pop Art) being a prime example of this.
A lithograph is a print that is made using a metal plate with a smooth surface that has a design etched on to it that is then applied to a page using inks painted on to the metal.
Many artists have used lithographs as their primary technique, such as the British painter William Blake. One very notable aspect of Lichtenstein's lithographic technique, however, is his use of the so called Ben Day dots.
These are small dots placed at regular intervals along the page, used to create a highly idiosyncratic effect that is both two dimensional and three dimensional all at once.
As in this piece, Lichtenstein very often used Ben Day dots to create human skin as the white page and the scarlet dots that he used look, at even small distances, like the smooth surface of pinkish human skin.
Based in Manhattan, NYC (where he was born in 1923 and died in 1997), Roy Lichtenstein was a US painter and one of the leading lights of the Pop Art movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
Lichtenstein worked with both sculpture and paint to create bold, cartoon style pieces that were designed to both reflect and contribute to popular culture. This was cognisant with the aims of the Pop Art movement as a whole, which aimed to break down the boundaries between art and popular culture. Lichtenstein was not only influenced by graphic novels and comic book culture, however. Many of his works draw on classic works by painters such as the Dutch Expressionist Vincent Van Gogh.