As with other artists during this time period, many of his pieces were defined by the use of bold colours, stark lines and an innate desire to convey silent movement through emotion. Wall Explosion 2 is a perfect example of these principles and to date, it is one of his most well-known pieces.
One would be mistaken to assume that Wall Explosion 2 (1965) is simplistic in its nature. While there is no doubt that Lichtenstein and others were heavily influenced by the popularity of comic books during this time, the visual balance achieved in this piece cannot be overlooked.
It should be noted here that the inspiration behind this sculpture was said to have come from a popular comic that was in publication during the Second World War. We can even see the use of dots within the surrounding "cloud" as indicative of the printing processes that were common at the time.
It is no coincidence that Lichtenstein employed the original design in this sculpture.
This artist was one of many who were adamantly opposed to the increasing American involvement in Vietnam during this time period. The main takeaway point here is that Lichtenstein presents this "explosion" more as an icon of balance as opposed to chaos. This can be seen in the radiating rays found on both sides of the centre of the explosion itself.
His use of the three primary colours also hints at a sense of synergy between the entire piece; almost as if it is giving birth to a star as opposed to signifying destruction. Indeed, many contemporary analysts saw this as a means to protest the war and even to anaesthetise violence itself.
The fact that Roy Lichtenstein attempts to "sedate" violence by employing the very same imagery that often defines it is indeed an impressive characteristic of this sculpture.
While some may view the work as a bit oversimplified, this may have very well been the intention of the artist from the very beginning. Other examples of this approach can be seen in similar pieces such as Sunrise, Cloud and Sea and Reflections on Minerva. Lichtenstein was certainly one of the most prolific artists of his time.