In this first phase of his career, Roy Lichtenstein shakes the traditional iconography but does not pay attention to the nude. Three decades later he retrieves his collection of magazines whose sentimental scenes had once served as his models. He now strips these young women in the intimate atmosphere of their modern apartment.
In his rich artistic vocabulary Roy loves to explore the theme of reflection that had inspired Velazquez and Manet before him. Nudes in Mirror, oil and acrylic on canvas 254 x 213 cm painted in 1994, offers troubling angles without indeed needing an erotic attitude.
The mirror occupies the entire field of the canvas and lets see the reflection of the blonde woman to the waist, much larger than life. The artist was an intruder because he occupied the physical position of that woman facing the mirror in the nude. For the same reason the viewer loses his own identity. A wide diagonal bar and a secondary image that may be from the same woman bring an impossible geometry worthy of Escher.
An artist is successful when his work arouses passions. In 2005 Nudes in Mirror was slashed in four large cuts from a screwdriver during an exhibition in Austria. The canvas has been repaired. It is for sale by Phillips in New York on November 16, lot 15. After such a history the estimate is difficult to establish and the auction house did not publish it.
SOLD for $ 21.5M including premium