The Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein is famous for capturing slices of modern life in his signature sprays of Ben-Day dots, exploring adult themes through the visual idiom of comic strips. But... did you know that if you piece together his individual paintings, they tell a story? And not just any story, but a heartbeat-quickening tale of love, art-world ambition, intimacy, and betrayal—all in the sun-swept playground for the wealthy known as the Hamptons?
Here, below, for the first time, is the romantic saga, told across 20 Lichtenstein masterpieces.
New art-world power couple Brad (Yale MFA '14) and Vicki head to East Hampton, hope in their hearts. Roberta has praised Brad's latest show. The Horts bought one.
Girl With Ball, 1961
Fun in the sun on Gin Lane. Hi, Larry! Hi, Michael! Hi, Anthony! Hi, Robert! Hi, Simon! Hi, April! Hi, Adam!
The whole art world's here.
Nudes With Beach Ball, 1992
Later, private fun in the sun. Funny, no one here is talking about the art market.
Night Seascape, 1977
Night arrives. It's time for bottle service, Ed Tyler Nahem's outdoor movies, the Parrish Midsummer Gala and...
"I'm posing just like Ilona!"
Vicki didn't have to fake it this time. Maybe she never will have to again.
She makes lunch for Brad, and eats a sandwich. These behaviors are rare for a gallerina.
Brad proposes! True love. Great manicure.
On the ferry to Sunset Beach, Vicki rejoices. All the girls at the Sotheby's Institute will be so jealous.
Brad heads to his Red Hook studio to prep for the summer group show Ryan's curating...
...and doesn't return.
At a Perrotin opening, he meets Aloha. Her summer home is Gstaad. Her winter home is Moloka'i. She likes Brad's... brushstrokes.
Kiss V, 1964
Eventually, Brad returns to Amagansett, but it's too late.
His love affair with Vicki, and Pop Art, is over. (This is in part due to her change to an unattractive hairstyle.)
Reflections: Art, 1988
The ride back to Manhattan is tense and long. Thank God Vicki has the comforting leopard stole her father gave her for just such situations.
Thinking of Him, 1963
Brad's fall show at Deitch will go on to be a tremendous success. Vicki never forgets him.
Head With Blue Shadow, 1965
Someday, his biographers will simply call her "That Hamptons Girl."
There's always next summer.