James Rosenquist | Hey! Let's Go for a Ride | 1961
Oil on canvas, 34 1/8 x 35 7/8 in.
Courtesy James Rosenquist Foundation
© 2021 James Rosenquist Foundation / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
James Rosenquist, while part of the Pop era, does not like being defined as a Pop artist. His pictures, though depicting everyday objects like those of Andy Warhol or Jim Dine, emphasize color and form in addition to American cultural content. Rosenquist was inspired by his years as a billboard painter to zoom in on an image, thereby concealing any commercial imagery. An early piece, Hey! Let's Go for a Ride (also titled Mask and Come Play With Me) depicts part of a face and a beer bottle, zoomed in until almost obscured. The painting, a fragment of a larger scene, appears to extend beyond the canvas, creating a warped feeling described by Rosenquist as "a numbness I get when I'm forced to see something close that I don't want to see."