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Year 1963
Type Pop art
Dimensions 116.8 cm × 86.4 cm (46 in × 34 in)

Bratatat! is a 1963 pop art painting by Roy Lichtenstein in his comic book style of using Ben-Day dots and a text balloon.


File:Bratatat! source.jpg

Lichtenstein was a trained United States Army pilot, draftsman and artist as well as a World War II veteran who never saw active combat.[1][2] His list of aeronautical themed works is extensive. Within that genre, Lichtenstein has produced several works featuring pilots situated in cockpits during air combat such as Jet Pilot (1962), Brattata (1962), Bratatat! (1963), and Okay Hot-Shot, Okay! (1963).[3] Bratatat! along with Whaam! and Varoom! are among Lichtenstein's most recognizable onomatopoeic works.[4]

The source of Bratatat! is All-American Men of War #90 (March–April 1962, DC Comics).[5] Bratatat! depicts a jet fighter pilot engaged in military conflict.[6] The black and white sketch of this work has been on a worldwide tour, accompanied by DC Comics artwork.[7][8]

The painting is symbolic of Lichtenstein's portfolio of work and is widely-celebrated, as much for the name as for the actual graphical content of military conflict, in the marketing of the artist and his works.[6][9][10]

Critical responseEdit

The work addresses Lichtenstein's motif of monocularity by pitting the pilot's binocular vision against the technologically advanced monocular computing reflector gun sight.[11] The Washingtonian's critic Sophie Gilbert regards Bratatat! (along with Takka Takka) as exemplary of Lichtenstein's "aggressive, hyper-masculine war paintings" because of its depiction of the guns creating sound effects and the use of onomatopoeic words during military conflict.[12] Dramatic close-ups of male protagonists at war, such as Bratatat! and Torpedo...Los!, serve as counterpoints to Lichtenstein's women in clichéd romantic turmoil during highly-charged moments.[13][14] The work also is related to Lichtenstein's theme of "machine and embodied vision" as exhibited in works such as Crak!, Okay Hot-Shot, Okay!, and Jet Pilot.[15]


  1. "Chronology". Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 
  2. McCarthy, David (2004). H.C. Westermann at War: Art and Manhood in Cold War America. University of Delaware Press. p. 71. ISBN 087413871X.!+Lichtenstein&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YQC9Ucq6HoHY8gSw5ICYCw&ved=0CFoQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Whaam!%20Lichtenstein&f=false. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  3. Pisano, Dominick A., ed (2003). The Airplane in American Culture. University of Michigan Press. p. 275. ISBN 0472068334. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  4. "The Report: Mr Roy Lichtenstein". 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  5. "Bratatat!". Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kuiper, Kathleen (2012-05-22). "Whaam!: The Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago". Encyclopedia Britanica. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  7. Vogel, Carol (2010-07-08). "Fresh Perspective on Familiar Pop Master". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  8. Rolnick, Katie (2010-09-29). "Roy Lichtenstein's 'Mark That Was Art'". The Forward. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  9. "Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective". Times Higher Education. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  10. Simmonds, Charlotte (2013-03-01). "BRATATAT! Lichtenstein hits the Tate Modern". New Statesman. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  11. Lobel, Michael (2002). Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art. Yale University Press. p. 99. ISBN 0300087624. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  12. Gilbert, Sophie (2012-10-11). "Art Preview: "Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective" at the National Gallery of Art". The Washingtonian. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  13. "War and Romance". Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  14. "Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective On View at National Gallery of Art, Washington: October 14, 2012–January 13, 2013". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  15. Lobel, Michael (2009). "Technology Envisioned: Lichtenstein's Monocularity". In Bader, Graham. Roy Lichtenstein. MIT Press. pp. 118–20. ISBN 978-0-262-01258-4. 

External linksEdit

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