We were commissioned by Christie's to make a short film about Roy Lichtenstein's painting, Keds (1961), which was sold in New York on 12th November 2014.
Keds was painted in 1961 during the very early days of Pop Art. Before Andy Warhol had begun to produce his now iconic paintings of Coca Cola bottles and Campbell’s soup cans, Roy Lichtenstein stood on the cusp of revolutionizing the art world, and with this portrait of classic Americana produced by one of the most radical statements of early Pop.
The Keds brand – the original high-top sneaker – was the perfect subject for Lichtenstein. Ubiquitous throughout the country, it was worn by professional sportsmen and backyard athletes alike, representing the wholesome, active lifestyle that the American dream espoused. Yet with this painting, Lichtenstein was not merely content to pay homage to an American icon, here we begin to see the emergence of the artist’s insightful deconstruction of the visual language of mass communication and the emergence of his signature style which did much to establish Pop Art as the dominant movement of the post-war period.