“Lichtenstein is the master of Pop Art.”
– Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen, founders, Art Production Fund
Nothing says summer like ice cream cones and beach balls, but this season, we’re elevating those warm-weather staples with the help of an art icon: Roy Lichtenstein. Barneys New York has partnered with Art Production Fund and the estate of the late and great artist for a fabulous limited-edition collection of summer goodies, all emblazoned with Lichtenstein’s most memorable works, like Ice Cream Soda (1962), Drawing for Kiss IV (1963), Baked Potato (1962), Bananas and Grapefruit I (1972), and more.
“It is a dream come true to be part of this remarkable collaboration that provides the public with greater access to Lichtenstein’s iconic and rarer works,” said Art Production Fund founders Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen. “It is extraordinary to work with the Estate to re-issue sold out objects and create new ones.” The collection, which includes trays, placemats, china dishes, glasses, paper plates, paper cups, pillows, flying discs, pool floats, water bottles, and beach accessories, including bags, towels, and beach balls, highlights great art from the past, but also benefits art of the future: 25% of all proceeds from this project will go to Art Production Fund to support its public art program.
The collaboration would not have been possible without Dorothy Lichtenstein, Lichtenstein’s widow and the president of the Lichtenstein Foundation. We checked in with Dorothy to find out more about the story behind these special pieces.
The Window: How did this collaboration come about?
Dorothy Lichtenstein: The collaboration came about through APF. I met both Yvonne and Doreen a couple of years ago at Jeff Koons’ studio. I was intrigued by what they were trying to do. I liked that they supported artists’ projects that might otherwise not be possible. Over the next years we saw each other at various art events and spoke about doing a Lichtenstein project. When they approached me with the possibility of working with Barneys I was open to it because I knew that the new owner was a serious art collector.
Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
The products that we decided to go ahead with were objects that I actually wanted. The paper plates were always coveted and Roy had designed a cup to go with them which had never been made. I always wanted to make the cups. As for the china, we had given our sets away to various friends. I jumped at the chance to remake these. We already knew that these worked well and would be successful.
As for the cushions, the beach ball, frisbees, and the rest, they felt right for a beach collection. Roy was always looking at everyday surroundings and thinking about how they might be transformed into art. This felt very much in that spirit.
How do you feel about art being taken off the walls and made into something more fun and less precious?
In the past my attitude was quite puritanical. I used to tease Roy about it but I have come to realize how much people appreciate being able to have these versions. Besides, the number of Lichtenstein-like images on things is huge. I thought we might as well have the ones we love.