James Rosenquist b.Grand Forks, North Dakota 1933-
During his art school education, first at the University of Minnesota in 1953 and then the Art Students League in New York from 1956, James Rosenquist supported himself as billboard painter. His art at that time consisted of small-scale abstracts.
In 1960 he began to incorporate commercial imagery culled from magazine ads and then assembled in a random and seemingly incongruous way.
This was to culminate in 1966 with the billboard size F1-11 where a diverse range of objects are given separate yet equal prominence, the whole being almost the same size as the swing wing bomber of the title, which made a powerful political comment on the American way of life (and death) at the height of the Vietnam war.
Lately his work has taken on a more mystical quality. However, it has not shrunk in scale or impact.