By the time he died in 1997, the New York based Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein was famous. He was described by many art critics as having created several masterpieces. Back in 1962, when the Pop Art genre was really taking off in Britain and the US, Lichtenstein created a painting that predicted this fame in a somewhat tongue in cheek manner.

As the speech bubble indicates, the man's name is Brad. Brad features in several of Lichtenstein's paintings, with Drowning Girl being a prime example. When questioned about the figure of Brad in his art, Lichtenstein stated that he liked the name because it sounded both cliched and heroic. This made Brad the perfect protagonist for Pop Art, a genre which aimed to create art that was not snobbishly 'high brow' but which created links with popular culture, and which was thus designed for popular consumption.

Masterpiece is, in its execution, typical of Lichtenstein's style. The cartoon like feel of the painting is something that Lichtenstein strove for in many of his works (see The Melody Haunts My Reverie, for example), as befitting Pop Art's interest in popular culture and its tropes.

Another important feature of this painting is Lichtenstein's use of Ben Day dots. Ben Day dots are named after a nineteenth century publisher named Benjamin Henry Day. Day used dots of varying colours to create new colours when they were viewed at a distance.

For instance, a white page covered in dark magenta dots will look pink from a short distance away and will thus be an inexpensive way of colouring in a large area of the page in a pink hue. Lichtenstein became famous for his use of Ben Day dots, and he liked to blow the dots up slightly and make them visible to the viewer.