Just like the other paintings in the Brushstrokes works, this one too is a satirical response and wry commentary to abstract expressionism and gestural painting.
Basically the signature slashing brushwork of the Pop Art Movement is caricatured in this painting in a flattened and stylized manner. The end result is quite flattering and a treat for the eyes!
Roy Lichtenstein is the primary member of Pop Art, which is a groundbreaking movement during the Sixties that focused on mass media and popular culture.
The movement was quite rebellious in nature in the sense that it laid spotlight on topics which were previously considered unworthy or undeserving of fine art. Apart from Little Big Painting, Lichtenstein made several other paintings with similar themes and styles.
Little Big Painting is quite a detailed painting wherein even the drips of paint arising due to the speed of the artist’s hand (whilst painting) are mimicked. The larger-than-life brushstrokes in the painting are set against a background of dots which are similar to mechanically-created Benday dots.
Back in the days, Benday dots were often used in commercial printing. Also, it has been observed that throughout his career, Lichtenstein has emulated these Benday dots, so much so that it has become his signature style and is instantly recognizable!
Lichtenstein is best known for his comic-strip inspired works with tongue-in-cheek humor or sarcasm. This painting is no different, it also has a very comic-book-illustration feel to it. The painting basically depicts the preference for hip modes of mechanical reproduction over emotionalism of Abstract Expressionism. Lichtenstein has capture the free-form gestures of the Art Movement of 1950s precisely in a hypermechanical manner.
The painting has a very dynamic feel to it despite of the shallow space because of the overlapping forms of brushstrokes as opposed to distinct adjacent forms or even a singular form. There is no shading or contrast techniques used in the painting, which is why to certain critics it may seem lacking in certain elements of depth. However, the monochromatic strokes coupled with their thick black outlines definitely make it very eye-catching.