Roy Lichtenstein, ‘Jobs... Not Cheese!’, 1982, Heritage Auctions
Roy Lichtenstein, ‘Jobs... Not Cheese!’, 1982, Heritage Auctions

In 1982, Connecticut Congressman John "Toby" Moffett, a liberal Democrat who had previously worked with consumer activist Ralph Nader, ran for Senate in Connecticut. Moffett's supporters included renowned art patrons Francis and Sydney Lewis who asked Roy Lichtenstein to create the campaign poster. The image is based on a previous poster created in 1977 for an exhibit at ACE Gallery entitled "Surrealist Paintings", featuring Roy Lichtenstein's famous 1977 Surrealist painting known as Cheese Head. The addition of the text "Jobs not Cheese" was an inspired campaign motto by Lichtenstein in response to then-President Ronald Reagan's infamous "Let them eat cheese" quote referring to his stance on welfare recipients. —Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Signature: Numbered lower left, signed lower right.

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

About Roy Lichtenstein

When American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein painted Look Mickey in 1961, it set the tone for his career. This primary-color portrait of the cartoon mouse introduced Lichtenstein’s detached and deadpan style at a time when introspective Abstract Expressionism reigned. Mining material from advertisements, comics, and the everyday, Lichtenstein brought what was then a great taboo—commercial art—into the gallery. He stressed the artificiality of his images by painting them as though they’d come from a commercial press, with the flat, single-color Ben-Day dots of the newspaper meticulously rendered by hand using paint and stencils. Later in his career, Lichtenstein extended his source material to art history, including the work of Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, and experimented with three-dimensional works. Lichtenstein’s use of appropriated imagery has influenced artists such as Richard Prince, Jeff Koons, and Raymond Pettibon.

American, 1923-1997, New York, New York, based in New York and Southampton, New York