2009

STEEL CITY

DECEMBER 8, 2009

Paradise Found

DECEMBER 5, 2009

Tim Burton at MoMA

NOVEMBER 19, 2009
We were lucky enough to receive invites to the opening party for Tim Burton's comprehensive retrospective show at MoMA, compliments of my third grade friend, Akira. It was more crowded than I like for viewing art, but it was a night to remember and a great chance to examine his work up close. I was very impressed with the sophistication of his drawings and his success at playing and living a child's fantasy life...as an adult. Attached are some of Julie's photos from the affair, but I highly recommend you turn out and see this for yourself.
Julie at the entrance to the show.
Free drinks flowed and the party raged on.
Somebody should cut this guy off.
The exhibit is extensive with detailed info about his artistic evolution and behind the scene info on his films.
There were some characters I hadn't seen before.
...and many we are all familiar with.
His drawings are quite beautiful and he explores a wide range of medium.
One of my personal fave films.
Corpse Bride

Sesame Street at 40

NOVEMBER 6, 2009

Upon graduating Pratt, I was introduced to the legendary artist rep, Ted Riley, by my mentor, James Grashow. Riley had an impressive stable of talent with the likes of Robert Andrew Parker, Pierre Le-Tan, Sempé, etc. He also had developed a working relationship with Children's TV Workshop, the creators of Sesame Street. He asked a simple question: "do you like the muppets?". When I replied that it is impossible not to like the charming puppets, he asked me if I could stand drawing them repeatedly, and so I became his fledgling in a group of giants with the understanding that I would become a muppet factory and he would also present my editorial work to publishers. I was sent to Muppets HQ where they pulled Bert & Ernie from their morgue like drawers for me to sketch. I was given my first test to do a spread of Oscar the Grouch in a junkyard. It was received so well that I quickly became busy illustrating toys and books and clothing. There were few items that I did not put a muppet on. My favorite projects were the 3D ones, such as music boxes, shoelaces, busy box and life vests. The 3D projects I sculpted in clay and were sent to Taiwan for mass reproduction. It was a prosperous way to begin a career, but ultimately left me feeling bereft of any real creativity. After Ted Riley passed, I ended my relationship with the muppets and instantly took a financial nosedive. In a year or two afterwards, I had enough magazines and newspapers supplying me with regular work that I declared career recovery. At the time, I remember always plotting my escape from muppetland. But now I look back fondly and with no apologies. My skills for drawing the muppets remain, but only come into play when a tantrum throwing child needs to be soothed on the subway.

I never really felt as though I acquired a "voice" drawing the muppets. I constantly tried new approaches but didn't have the signature look that the other illers working for CTW seemed to have. Perhaps it was my saving grace to have been restless and unfulfilled.
The magazine was art directed by a very creative guy, Paul Richer, who gave the artist a good deal of freedom to interpret the assignment in their own way.
I didn't have children at the time and kept very little merchandise and tearsheets from my muppet era, but a few reamain. I first began experimenting with watercolor here.
Almost all of the merchandise I did was done anonymously. For a few years I was pumping out muppets at a breakneck speed. VIVA SESAME STREET!!!

Dragons are forever

OCTOBER 13, 2009

Americans have been paranoid concerning China, well...just about forever. And that's good for me, because  there are few things more fun to draw than dragons. The projections are that China's economy will emerge as the next global super power. More dragons! This, for today's WSJ editorial page.

Down on the Farm

SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

19th century women write about their abusive marriages to overworked, desensitized farmers. Accounts of rape, physical abuse and incest weave through these stories. For the Hartford Courant.


IRAN

JUNE 19, 2009
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Topical: Events  

Zombie Politician

JUNE 13, 2009

Newt Gingrich, Zombie politician, groping for media attention with the same old dead ideas. This one for the LA Times.

The Fix

JUNE 12, 2009

Not expecting any miracles, but here's hoping the Dems can make the necessary changes to our health care system. With a little modification, I found the caduceus to be very accommodating as a pogo stick.

GOP ("O" for obsolete)

MAY 9, 2009

In the age of Obama, the GOP seems in danger of self imposed extinction, as they appear to inhabit an  increasingly narrow niche on the far right. This cover image for the LA Times accompanies articles on 3 ways in which the party can pull itself back from the brink. Using the tired old metaphor of the tightrope, the emphasis became the bloated fear of the elephant.

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Topical: Ruminations