Whaam is a Roy Lichtenstein painting which remains one of the most memorable works to have come from the American contemporary arts scene, with Lichtenstein himself classified within the much loved Pop Art movement.
The Whaam print includes two sides of action with a pilot firing missiles from the left to the right, where they explode.
The original is a very wide aspect ratio to fit both sides of the painting in but many people now choose reproductions of just one side of the original so that they can be in a more standard shape.
Whaam was produced in Lichtenstein's prefered style of cartoon-like blocks of colour with thin strokes that gives an exceptionally contemporary look to each of his paintings.
Lichtenstein was an artist who was skilled in different styles of art but always prefered to continue his innovative approach that many have linked to the Pop Art movement of the 20th century which also included the likes of Andy Warhol and David Hockney.
The title Whaam clearly comes from the caption besides the missile explosion within the right hand panel of this wide painting but the left side that depicts the aircraft is currently marginally more popular for those who choose to crop the original into a squarer painting.
That side features a greater amount of detail and it is also very unusual to see an aircraft depicting in art in this truly contemporary way. The blues and greys also work well and give a more interesting look to the overall painting.
Whaam was created in 1963 by Roy Lichtenstein and is classed as a Diptych as it features two prints which are held together by a hinge, offering the artist the opportunity to produce two areas of action and combine them together for an interesting completed work though to this day many still treat it's components separately even though they fit together perfectly as Lichtenstein had intended.
The full size of this Diptych measures 170 cm × 400 cm (67 in × 160 in) and is now displayed at the Tate Modern in London, UK.
This major international art gallery hosts an exceptional collection of contemporary art and Roy Lichtenstein's Whaam is amongst the biggest draw even with the high level of competition.
The actual caption of Whaam which titles the work is classed as onomatopoeic lettering, which is where typography takes shapes which help to portray the sound that they're depicting.
The Whaam painting adapted a comic-book panel from a 1962 issue of DC Comics' All-American Men of War and this was a common method for Lichtenstein in producing his cartoon prints.
The artist enjoyed the combination of image and text which was permitted in these types of paintings as it offered the opportunity to add interest and a deeper story to each work whilst still making it immediately accessible.
Roy Lichtenstein's use of bold blocks of colour with clear outlines in a cartoon-like style rather than choosing to perfectly recreate what is seen with the eye, as traditional artists had done, puts his career firmly within the realms of contemporary art, and specifically the 20th century Pop Art movement which remains one of the most influential and public-loved group of artists.
Andy Warhol was reasonably similar in using bold colours to cover media-heavy items throughout his lifetime whilst David Hockney continues to promote his own paintings across America and the UK with a preference for landscape and portrait paintings of his own.