(American, b.1933) is notorious for being the most openly political artist associated with the Pop Art movement. His mother was also a painter and encouraged her son to pursue his interest in art. Rosenquist studied art at the University of Minnesota under the artist Cameron Booth
, and spent summers working as a contractor, becoming skilled in the realm of commercial painting. He painted his first billboard in 1954, and a year later was awarded a scholarship to attend the Art Students League in New York. After completing his studies, he began a career as a commercial billboard painter, excelling in his trade and laying the foundations for his later large-scale compositions. In 1960 he took a one-year hiatus to devote himself entirely to his artistic career, and developed a unique style of painting on the scale of a commercial billboard
His fragmented imagery drew from many commercial
, social, and political
sources, often with sharply political implications. During the Vietnam War, Rosenquist continued to paint on a large scale but became more openly critical of the American military-industrial complex, resulting in such controversial works as F-111 Bomber
, which fuses images of the American Dream with darker suggestions of nuclear war, missiles, and the emblematic U.S. fighter-bomber. Works like F-111
critique American consumerism by echoing the very means and scale by which consumers are informed. By using the distinct scale of advertising, Rosenquist’s work transcends the limitations of a traditionally-sized painting to present a disjointed view of society from afar.