Roy Lichtenstein began producing Pop Art paintings--based on the imagery of consumerism and popular culture--in the early 1960s, and he is most often associated with paintings and prints based on comic strips. When once asked how he selected his images, Lichtenstein explained, "I go through comic books looking for material which seems to hold possibilities for painting, both in its visual impact and the impact of its written message. . . . I try to take messages which are kind of universal or, in a way, either completely meaningless or so involved that they become ludicrous."
Although not based on an actual comic book image, Lichtenstein's Artist's Studio No. 1 is stylistically similar to his cartoon translations. Like the numerous artist's studio paintings produced in Western art since the 16th century, Lichtenstein depicts his artistic environment and acknowledges his accomplishment as an artist by including examples of his pioneering work, such as Look Mickey (1961) and Couch (1961). Unlike other, more traditional depictions of artists' studios, however, Lichtenstein satirizes his own artwork by painting the studio in the impersonal comic strip style that had made him famous.