© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Though Roy Lichtenstein’s style of comic-derived pop art is now well known, it was radical in the early 1960s. Appropriating the visual language of American mass culture, such as Mickey Mouse, Coca-Cola, and the “funny pages,” Lichtenstein found his artistic voice by making paintings that at first did not appear to be art. This was his cover —part camouflage and part red herring — that allowed him to insert his own practice into the art historical milieu; he was in dialogue with the greats, reprising themes from antiquity. I...I’m Sorry! is a portrait of Eve as a modern-day woman. Lichtenstein renders her apology unclear, revealing layers of interpretation: Is she apologizing for eating the forbidden fruit from the tree? Is she breaking our hearts? Is she sincere with her stammering words? Her simplified features belie the nuanced complexities of her declaration.