Girl with Ball by Roy Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein took the image for Girl with Ball straight from an advertisement for a hotel in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. In pirating it, however, he transformed the photographic image, using a painter's version of the techniques of the comic-strip artist. The resulting simplifications intensify the artifice of the picture, concentrating its careful evocation of fun in the sun. The girl's round mouth is more doll-like than female; any sex appeal she had has become as plastic as her beach ball.

Roy Lichtenstein appropriated the image of a girl tossing a beach ball in the air from an advertisement in The New York Times promoting a resort called Mount Airy Lodge. The ad was attractive to the artist because the figure looked like a cliche, a bit of cheesecake like Betty Grable, who survived the Second World War to become a pinup in newspaper, magazine, and television commercials. The comely figure in the ad beckons to her readers, selling them the delights of honeymooning in the Poconos. Lichtenstein borrowed this bathing-suited figure and used her as his model for Girl with Ball. Lichtenstein transformed her from her commonplace origins in the media into an emblem of American culture. She took her place alongside such iconoclastic figures as Edouard Manet's Olympia, Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, and Willem de Kooning's Woman, a vernacular subject who found her way into the canon of art.