Artist. Born in New York City to a middle class Jewish family. The son of Milton Lichtenstein, a successful real estate developer, and Beatrice Werner Lichtenstein. While a boy growing up on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Roy had a passion for both science and comic books. In his teens, he became interested in art. He took watercolor classes at Parsons School of Design in 1937. He was an avid jazz fan, often attending concerts at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He frequently drew portraits of the musicians playing their instruments. In his last year of high school, 1939, Roy enrolled in summer classes at the Art Students League of New York, where he worked under the tutelage of Reginald Marsh. Following his graduation from the Franklin School for Boys in Manhattan in 1940, Roy attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His college studies were interrupted in 1943, when he was drafted and sent to Europe for World War II. Services complete he returned to Ohio State in 1946 to finish his undergraduate degree and master's degree both in fine arts. In 1951 Roy had his first solo exhibition at the Carlebach Gallery in New York. He moved to Cleveland in the same year, where he remained for six years, although he frequently traveled back to New York. During this time he undertook jobs as varied as a draftsman to a window decorator in between periods of painting. His work at this time fluctuated between Cubism and Expressionism. In 1954, his first son, David Hoyt, was born, he is now a songwriter, his second son, Mitchell was born in 1956. Roy began experimenting with different subjects and methods in the early 1960s, while he was teaching at Rutgers University. His newer work was both a commentary on American popular culture and a reaction to the recent success of Abstract Expressionist painting by artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. His best known work from this period is "Whaam!," which he painted in 1963, using a comic book panel from a 1962 issue of DC Comics' All-American Men of War as his inspiration. Other works of the 1960s featured cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and advertisements for food and household products. He created a large scale mural of a laughing young woman adapted from an image in a comic book for the New York State Pavilion of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. By the late 1960s, Roy had stopped using comic book sources. In the 1970s his focus turned to creating paintings that referred to the art of early 20th century masters like Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger and Salvador Dalí. In the 1980s and '90s, he also painted representations of modern house interiors, brushstrokes and mirror reflections, all in his trademark, cartoon-like style. He also began working in sculpture. Roy would marry twice. He and his first wife, Isabel, whom he married in 1949 and divorced in 1967 had two sons. He married Dorothy Herzka in 1968. Roy received numerous Honorary Doctorate degrees from, among others, the George Washington University in 1996, Bard College, Royal College of Art in 1993, Ohio State University 1987, Southampton College in 1980, and the California Institute of the Arts in 1977. He also served on the board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Roy died of complications from pneumonia in 1997, at the New York University Medical Center in Manhattan, he was 73 years old.
Bio by: Shock