Kitaj made this drawing in order to enter a local exhibition for young artists during his senior year of high school in Troy, NY.
This early drawing by R. B. Kitaj presents a humorous distortion of scale. An arrow with the word “Go” points toward the man who dominates the center of the drawing, with his wide stance and clown-like shoes, unnaturally stiff pants, suspenders, short tie, and cigar. Behind him in much reduced scale, Kitaj drew the main street of an American small town, with its storefronts stretched horizontally and filled with hand-drawn signs. The picture’s playful distortions may be intended to suggest the man’s outsized personality or influence in the small town; at the same time, the drawing shows a young realist with Pop inclinations.
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