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Artists Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann

American Painter, Illustrator, Sculptor, and Collagist

Tom Wesselmann Photo
Movement: Pop Art

Born: February 23, 1931 - Cincinnati, Ohio

Died: December 17, 2004 - New York City

"I find sometimes I get so excited working, especially when starting new ideas; I get so excited that I get uncomfortable. It almost feels dangerous, like I'm flirting with something dangerous."

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Initially a cartoonist for men's magazines, Tom Wesselmann reduced the classical female nude to her essential components: lips, nips and pubes. His Venuses have tan lines. Cigarettes dangle from their rocket-red mouths. Their crisp outlines resonate with the immediacy of a neon sign. Like the nudes of Titian, Velasquez, or Rubens, Wesselmann's mid-century modern nudes sprawl across furniture in suggestive poses, awaiting a lover the viewer naturally assumes is him. Wesselmann's chief interest was not to draw attention to the subject, but "to make figurative art as exciting as abstract art." He succeeded brilliantly at this, and his work engages our senses - as Jim Dine told him before Wesselmann's first show in New York, "You may be one of America's great painters."

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