Ro Lichtenstein’s pivotal 1961 painting Look Mickey depicts a youthful joke. The instantly recognizable cartoon characters Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse stand on a yellow dock. “Look Mickey, I’ve hooked a big one!!” reads the speech bubble above Donald’s head. Mickey covers his mouth in laughter: Thinking he’s caught a massive fish, Donald has actually latched his line on his own jacket. The painting was a career-defining achievement. The artist had stumbled upon an aesthetic that would make him a forerunner of the nascent American Pop art movement. Like the best fish tales, the multiple origin stories behindLook Mickey are both dubious and endearing. Read more