October 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
I have had the privilege of working with some great art directors over the years, and I will discuss many of them here in future blog posts. Today I’d like to credit the art directors and editors at Bloomberg magazines. Frank Tagariello at Personal Finance and Beatrice Mc Donald at Wealth Manager were among the best in my humble opinion, and I bet any illustrator who worked for them would agree. They gave artists the freedom and confidence to create imagery that rose above the realm of financial illustration and became something more, something personal. They launched a lot of careers and played an important part in pushing editorial illustration to where it is today. Just look at an illustration annual from the period and it’s filled with a disproportionate number of illustrations that were published in Bloomberg magazines. They did not require the art to be a literal, visual description of the often dry subject matter. They understood that a story about interest rates would be more interest- ing with a visually compelling, even mysterious illustration on a beautifully designed page. It draws the reader in and lets them use their own imagination, rather than spoon feeding them and under-estimating their intelligence.
This is one of my favorites of the period. For the record, I was painting vintage cartoon characters on old books in the mid 90′s. The piece was selected to be part of American Illustration Annual #19. It was a story about Mid Cap stocks, a tip of my hat to you Frank and Bee.
October 13, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I have worked for The New York Times over the years and it can be challenging to come up with several concepts and final art in only a few hours.( I often think of a perfect solution the day after the assignment is due.)
I’ve worked for Steven Guarnaccia, Brian Rea, John Hendrix and Sam Weber, all wonderful illustrators as well as art directors. These are two illustrations created for the Times. They appeared in the letters section of the op-ed page. The first accompanied letters concerning the Virginia Tech shootings , the second was in reference to Hurricane Katrina.
The Shooter was painted in acrylic on canvas, in color originally. Katrina was black gesso on board and photoshop.
October 12, 2010 § Leave a Comment
The content was very disturbing, and she correctly believed that the book needed to be filled with cartoons and illustrations that provided some comic relief from the dark subject matter. One of the more troubling passages for me described how our Department of Defense tests the effects of weapons like Tasers and guns on live pigs. In a story originally reported by The New York Times, a young medic explains that as part of his pre-Iraq training he was tasked with trying to keep a pig alive even as it was repeatedly injured. The pig was shot twice in the face with a 9-mm pistol, twice with a 12 gauge shotgun and then set on fire. He managed to keep the animal alive for 15 hours.
This was painted on found, distressed wood in acrylic. I tried to keep the image as light as I could, without dishonoring the memory of that poor little piggie.
October 11, 2010 § Leave a Comment
On September 17, 2007 U.S. Senator John Kerry visited The University of Florida. He was there, ironically as it turns out, to address a Constitution Day forum. During the Q and A period, 21 year old Andrew Meyer asked Kerry why he would not support efforts to impeach George W. Bush. He also asked Kerry to comment on reports of irregularities regarding the results of the 2004 Presidential Election. It was when he queried why Clinton was impeached for getting a “B***J**” while Bush went unpunished for possibly stealing a presidential election that his microphone was cut off. Officers attempted to physically remove him from the room, but he insisted that he had a right to stay and hear his questions be answered. Kerry agreed, yet the four officers continued to try and ‘escort’ him from the room. When he tried to hold his ground, he was taken to the floor and held down by the officers. He yelled “Why are you arresting me? Help. help!” They handcuffed one of his hands and clearly have him restrained on the video of the incident.
It was at this point that he uttered the now famous words “Don’t Tase me, bro.” One of the officers, who apparently did not appreciate being called ‘bro’, drive stunned the student with an X-26 Taser. Andrew could now be added to the still growing list of unarmed students as young as 6 who have been Tased while on school grounds. Following the incident, he was charged with “Inciting a Riot” and other ‘crimes’. The police recommended he be charged with the felony of “Resisting Arrest with Violence”.
Amnesty International alleges that 344 people have died as a result of being Tased. These weapons were originally proposed as an alternative to lethal force, but have become a routine way of incapacitating unarmed suspects at traffic stops and nuisance complaints. Police shootings have not declined since the deployment of Tasers. Authorities call the use of these weapons “Pain Compliance.” I call it torture.
I painted this piece on a vintage, wood cutout of a duck that I found in a flea market in Pennsylvania. It was part of my exhibition titled “All That Glitters” at Trifecta Gallery in Las Vegas.
October 7, 2010 § 3 Comments
Pablo Picasso said “Painting is not meant to decorate apartments, painting is an instrument of war.”
As an editorial illustrator, I am often given the task of creating a compelling image to accompany a story pertaining to current events. I have created visual commentary on issues including The Iraq War and Katrina for the op-ed page of The New York Times and cloning for Time magazine. When an issue arises that inspires me, but there is no assignment, I make my own.
The attempt is always to imbue my images with the passion I feel for many of these issues with just enough humor to keep them from being strident. Passion and humor are two of the traits I admire most about my dad, and these characteristics have organically found their way into my work.
I try to be diplomatic in life and non-combative, with varying degrees of success. I make no such attempt in the realm of my art. The work you will see here has a distinct point of view that you might not always share, but I guarantee that it’s genuine.
This is my first salvo in the information war. This is a war against war. A war against lies and tyranny and corruption. I may not be the first choice to paint something that looks pretty over your couch, but I think I have some pretty sharp arrows left in my quiver. Feel free to let me know what You think.
This painting was originally commissioned by Playboy for a story about woman hunters. Bruce Hansen, art director.