‘Stepping Out’ implements Lichtenstein’s traditional comic book imagery. The painting, Fig. 1 in the appendix, features two individuals. Seemingly these individuals are a woman and a man, however Lichtenstein uses cubist like forms to obscure easy and clear distinctions. The male figure seems to be identifiable though traditional social conventions of dress; he is wearing a hat, has short-trimmed hair, as well as a suit and tie. Conversely, the woman does not take on complete form; instead her face is depicted not in the traditional form of the human head, but as a canvas. She only has one eye, which is slanted vertically. She has long blonde-hair, red lips, and a yellow dress that seems to further situate her with feminine identification. The division between the man and woman is blurred such that they seem to dissolve into each other; this perspective on singularity is further witnessed through Lichtenstein’s slight use of pointillism on the right side and left side of the woman and man’s faces, respectively. Finally, the background of the work is divided into strong black and white, the white is on the woman’s side and the black is on the man’s side.
Aesthetic analysis of Lichtenstein’s ‘Stepping Out’ reveals a considerable number of insights. Upon its debut the work was well received. One recognizes that by 1978 Lichtenstein’s reputation as a Pop artist was well established and this surely factored into its positive reception. In terms of meaning, interpretations differ widely from different critics. Indeed, the very post-modern elements of the work invite such multiple-critical voices. In terms of objective elements one recognizes that there is a degree of inter-textuality in the work. The male in work is based on Fernand Leger’s 1944 painting ‘Three Musicians;’ however Lichtenstein’s version is the mirror image of Leger’s earlier work.2 Additionally the female in the painting is clearly influenced by Picasso’s cubist style, in the multi-dimensional and slightly surrealist juxtapositions. In terms of the specific meaning this elements form, this essay contends that the primary emphasis is the