Using pop art inspired by comic book printing methods, Lichtenstein painted parodies of scenes that were common and striking. Nowhere can you see this better than in one of his most popular paintings, 'Oh Jeff I Love You Too But', named for the speech bubble that takes a large portion of the canvas.
Lichtenstein used strong, defined lines and bright colours as a reflection of the popular comic book art of the time. In this particular painting, he creates the emotion on the conflicted woman's face with just a few easy lines, and by doing so he puts tension into the scene without overcrowding it.
The close-up on the woman's face and the way she holds the phone in such a dramatic manner is a direct parody of many romantic comedy comics known at the time, in which the protagonist would suffer a temporary hurdle in her relationship which, as every reader was aware, would eventually be resolved.
The predictability of this scene is brought to life with the large speech bubble with upper-case text typical of the medium. Lichtenstein takes all of the tropes of comic book art and turns it into a memorable piece of high art.
Painted in 1964, the art has remained popular when discussing Lichtenstein's art as it is a good example of many of his favourite methods. The image is cropped very close to the woman's face, even cutting of part of her head and hair, and the speech bubble crowds into her space. This adds to the feeling of tension and frustration in the scene, and focuses very strongly on the potential tragedy.
It is touches like these that makes Lichtenstein's art a popular draw for the casual observer and the serious collector at the same time. Though he may make the scene seem simple on first glance, many elements combine in the painting to create something deeper than the initial look would hint.
There is a reason that Lichtenstein's 'Oh Jeff I Love You Too But...' continues to be one of his most well-remembered paintings. With simple colours and lines, Lichtenstein created something truly memorable.