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Artists James Rosenquist
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James Rosenquist

American Painter

Movement: Pop Art

Born: November 29, 1933 - Grand Forks, North Dakota

Died: March 31, 2017 - New York City

James Rosenquist Timeline

Quotes

"I'm the one who gave steroids to Pop art."
James Rosenquist
"I feel lucky that I've been able to make a living from painting any idea that comes into my head."
James Rosenquist
"I'm interested in contemporary vision - the flicker of chrome, reflections, rapid associations, quick flashes of light. Bing! Bang!"
James Rosenquist
"The best thing about being an artist is the free clothing and getting to kiss pretty girls."
James Rosenquist
"When I started out, I wanted to paint the Sistine Chapel. But I didn't have the content."
James Rosenquist
"I stick the collages on the wall and, if I still like them after a month or two, I make a painting."
James Rosenquist
"I painted billboards above every candy store in Brooklyn."
James Rosenquist

"Popular culture isn't a freeze-frame; it is images zapping by in rapid-fire succession, which is why collage is such an effective way of representing contemporary life. The blur between images creates a kind of motion in the mind."

James Rosenquist Signature

Synopsis

A seminal figure in the Pop art movement, James Rosenquist is best known for his colossal collage paintings of enigmatically juxtaposed fragmentary images borrowed largely from advertisements and mass media. Brought together and enlarged so as to cover entire gallery walls and overwhelm the viewer, these seemingly unrelated pictures of consumer products, weaponry, and celebrities hint at the artist's social, political, and cultural concerns. The billboard painter-turned-artist's early works are also considered emblematic of a burgeoning consumer culture in America during the 1960s. Six decades into his career, Rosenquist continues to create massive, provocative paintings, whose relevance hinges on their engagement with current economic, political, environmental, and scientific issues.

Key Ideas

The artist was among the first to directly address the persuasive, even deceptive, powers of advertising by applying the Surrealist practice of juxtaposing seemingly unrelated subjects to fragmented commercial images and ads in a manner that highlights the omnipresence of ads.
An advocate for his fellow artists, Rosenquist used his prominent artistic reputation to help lobby for federal protection of artists' rights during the 1970s and was soon thereafter appointed to the National Council on the Arts.
Because he successfully moved beyond his early fascination with popular culture and mass media to address new issues, such as the intersection of science and aesthetics, Rosenquist is credited with being one the few Pop artists whose later work continues to be relevant.

Biography

James Rosenquist Photo

Childhood

James Rosenquist, born in North Dakota, was the only child of amateur pilots Ruth and Louis Rosenquist. His father's search for work repairing planes meant that the family moved frequently, particularly during World War II, occasionally sending Rosenquist to stay with his grandfather on his farm near Mekinock, North Dakota. When the war concluded, the family settled in Minneapolis. By then, Rosenquist had lived in five different towns and attended seven different schools, all the while working during his summers and after school collecting newspapers, selling ice cream, picking seasonal produce at his grandfather's farm, and making deliveries for a local drug store.

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James Rosenquist Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
James Rosenquist
Interactive chart with James Rosenquist's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Andy WarholAndy Warhol
Richard HamiltonRichard Hamilton
Eduardo PaolozziEduardo Paolozzi
Salvador DalíSalvador Dalí
René MagritteRené Magritte

Personal Contacts

Robert IndianaRobert Indiana
Ellsworth KellyEllsworth Kelly

Movements

SurrealismSurrealism
Pop ArtPop Art
Contemporary ArtContemporary Art

Influences on Artist
James Rosenquist
James Rosenquist
Years Worked: 1950s - Present
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Richard PrinceRichard Prince
Marilyn MinterMarilyn Minter

Personal Contacts

Movements

Pop ArtPop Art
Neo Pop ArtNeo Pop Art

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Anna Souter

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Sandy McCain

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Anna Souter
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Sandy McCain
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