It was February 15, 1988, and I remember sitting with my friend Kim S. in the very front row of the Walker Cinema anxiously waiting for the lecture to start. I don’t recall a thing from the conversation between Martin Friedman and Roy Lichtenstein that day, unfortunately. I suspect I was nervous, trying to build up the courage to approach Mr. Lichtenstein for his autograph. It was definitely an out-of-body experience for me as a young artist.
When the lecture ended and Mr. Lichtenstein came over to the edge of the stage where I stood, I mustered up my courage to ask. I was surprised to find I was the only person who asked for his autograph. Afterward, anyone who wanted to could proceed outside to the Walker Art Center’s sculpture terrace where Salute to Painting was unveiled as the cornerstone of the new Sculpture Garden, which was still under construction. There was someone playing a long, brass fanfare trumpet, like one you might have seen and heard back in the day in England. Not many people were there at that moment, which shocked my friend and me. We had a moment with this living pop artist practically to ourselves. (Tickets for the lecture were only $3.50 and it wasn’t sold out!