In 1983, Roy Lichtenstein painted a 96 foot mural at the Leo Castelli Gallery on Greene Street. It was a memoir of sorts – a collage of his trademark lexicons with elements of Deco, Pop, and Cubism. In true New York fashion, the massive mural was only on view for six weeks before being destroyed to make room for a new exhibition, leaving only blueprints and photos behind.
Thirty years later, Gagosian gallery decided to recreate the now titled Greene Street Mural at their Chelsea location, and enlisted the guidance of Lichtenstein’s longtime studio assistant, Rob McKeever. McKeever helped install the original mural along with Lichtenstein, Leo Castelli, Lichtenstein’s wife Dorothy, and two other studio members.
The Gagosian reproduction used photographs from Bob Adelman and Michael Abramson (two photographers who documented the original) to map out the mural for commercial painters to produce. “Roy drew out the original body himself, so for us to try to do that is not really the same thing…. We wanted to just make it a faithful reproduction,” McKeever told Artnet. McKeever supervised in order to make sure the aesthetic was in line with Lichtenstein’s style. “The stripes have to be the same way he did them, and the dots. When you’re trying to imitate his work, that’s the biggest factor.”
The Green Street Mural will be on view until this Saturday the 17th. No word on how they plan to destroy the mural, but let’s hope its epic.