Elaine Sturtevant joined that group of men around 1964. She carefully chooses their best works and plagiarizes them while skillfully using their own techniques. These copies of appropriations fall entirely within the logics of the pop artists whose desire is to multiply their images and push them to the rank of icons.
She sometimes discreetly adds an element revealing her feminine feeling such as the blue eyes of her Lichtenstein Frighten Girl. This oil on canvas 116 x 162 cm painted in 1966 was sold for $ 3.4 million including premium by Christie's on 12 November 2014 over a lower estimate of $ 600K. The art market is rediscovering Sturtevant.
Jasper Johns was with Rauschenberg the boldest of these early reformers of art. Sturtevant used the Johns technique in oil, encaustic and collage on canvas in her copies of his Flags and Targets.
On November 17 in New York, Sotheby's sells a Johns Flag 96 x 143 cm painted in 1965, lot 32 estimated $ 3M, which is one of the very first remakes executed by Sturtevant.
The Johns flag is one of the best symbols of pop art. Sturtevant added in 1966 another reference to the history of art by photographing herself walking in the nude in front of the example now offered for sale, in a claimed imitation of the chronophotographs by Muybridge and indirectly in honor of the Nude Descending a Staircase by Duchamp.
Rauschenberg had been the first re-user. He had inserted another flag by Johns, smaller, in an assembly realized in 1955 titled Short Circuit. When that Johns is stolen ten years later directly from the Short Circuit, Rauschenberg prefers commissioning to Sturtevant the replacement with which he restores his vandalized art.