Tuesday, December 1, 2015

West by Southeast

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was in the Atlanta area visiting my son and his wife and decided to haul the family about an hour Northwest of the city to Cartersville, GA.

A small, unassuming exurban satellite to Atlanta, hardly associated with one of the more impressive -- and fun -- art museums I've ever been to. Anywhere.

Welcome to the December edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.

I'm referring to the Booth Western Art Museum. http://boothmuseum.org/
What a treat for this guy who, as a child of the '50s, looked forward to "Wyatt Earp" and "Maverick" and "Bat Masterson" and "Roy Rogers" and "The Lone Ranger" on the old black and white boob tube. And, in the "air cooled" movie theaters, "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" and "Last Train from Gun Hill" (both featuring Kirk Douglas) and "Rio Bravo" and "Shane" and "The Lone Ranger." (Yes, they made a couple of feature length films of the latter, based on the tremendous popularity of the TV series.)

The Booth features movie posters and pulp Western book jacket illustrations and, of course, majestic paintings and photography and crafts and sculpture depicting the flora and fauna of magnificent settings like the Grand Canyon and the Rockies, along with those that explored and settled the territories -- the cowboy and the Native American.

For those of you who share my enthusiasm for this uniquely American substrata of art appreciation, there's a brand new art gallery in Charlotte, inspired in part, by the Booth.  And since they are a client of mine, I'm pleased to endorse them here. (But even if they weren't, you really owe it to yourself to check them out) http://www.cimarronskygallery.com/

Ironically, I have never indulged in tackling this subject myself, so I have little to show for my trumpeting.

Perhaps you'll indulge me, though, with these corporate assignments that, with the exception of one caricature -- of Tim Rowley, owner of Cimarron Sky Gallery (just below) -- at least have some element within them to tie into the Western theme. :-)

Incidentally, the art at the very top of this post is a book jacket cover illustrated some five decades ago by Sam Kweskin...I'm very proud to display

Adios until the first Tuesday of next month for another Yipee Ki-yo Ki-yay rendition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Giving Thanks this Month

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. (Then again, any celebration involving the eating of mass quantities of food probably qualifies.)
Thanksgiving, though, certainly holds a special place in the collective consciousness of our country.
On the serious, historical side, it denotes the pilgrims' flight from Europe for a land where they could exercise freedom of religious expression.
On the lighter but no less significant side, it connotes the warmth and love associated with gatherings of family and friends.
Welcome to the November edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.
(Used to be, for some reason it was also the one Thursday out of the season when the NFL Detroit Lions -- alone -- would be pitted against another team. Now it's also the Cowboys that play and maybe others. And Thursday, of course, is now part of the schedule throughout the entire season. So much for "tradition." But I digress...) 
Through the years, Thanksgiving and all its fun and foibles has been comedic grist for chroniclers from publishers The New Yorker to Mad Magazine, from animators Walt Disney to Warner Brothers.

So, For my purposes here, I'll simply acknowledge the holiday with fun tributes by those iconic cartoon sources.
I don't have any Thanksgiving art of my own to contribute...but I'll "fudge" by including some Halloween work I did this past month -- at a Halloween festival for kids and at a wedding(!) held on Halloween night:



I do give "thanks" for all the opportunities I have to ply my craft at festivals, weddings, corporate events, birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs and more.

So, until the first Tuesday of next month with another helping of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist, have yourself a happy and fun-filled Thanksgiving.


Monday, October 5, 2015

October Fest

This month brings Football, Baseball playoffs and World Series, Halloween, pumpkin-flavored drinks and food items, hot chocolate, cold-weather fashions...and Fall festivals.

 In  October alone, there are dozens of festivals going on all over North Carolina; continuing past Winter and into the early Spring of next year there are 292(!) festivals noted here. Check out which ones you might wish to attend:


Welcome to the October edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.

Festivals and parties have been good to me throughout the year.

Here are samples -- from an English Bulldog Festival to a Halloween street party, from a corporate family outing to a Boy Scouts event. And more...

Join us again the first Tuesday of next month for another seasonal segue from Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Gerry, the Pacemaker

Continuing with our look at some of the premier caricaturists of our era, here's a guy whose name you probably won't know but whose uniquely stylized work with a pen has brought him admiration primarily throughout the world of advertising and print publications.
Welcome to the September issue of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist with Caricatures by Joel.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Gerry Gersten:
Gersten, born in 1927 in New York City and now retired, was a prolific, and renowned political caricaturist. (Mike Wallace, left; Woody Allen, below)
He grew up in the Bronx, born to Polish Jewish immigrant parents who didn't believe in his calling. “I remember once picking up a copy of Life magazine and saying to them, ‘A page in this magazine would cost an advertiser $50,000, of course you can make a living in this field,’” he recalls. “But I couldn’t convince them. They wanted me to be an accountant." 

Gersten studied at the Cooper Union Art School in Manhattan and Cooper School of Design, before establishing his career as a caricaturist. He drew hundreds of illustrations for publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Harpers, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper's and Playboy. His work also adorned many record covers for RCA.

In 1986, he began work for MAD Magazine, drawing political caricatures  of public figures, for MAD's brand of satire.

Through these notable assignments, Gersten gained international acclaim, and has collected awards from The Society of Illustrators, The Art Director's Club, and The Society of Publication Designers. His work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, the Spectrum Gallery, the Daz-marcel Gallery in New York, various galleries in Connecticut, the Museum of American Illustration, and the Cornell Museum. (Willie Nelson; Dr. Ruth Westheimer, below)

Gersten, as with previous NYUCA-spotlighted caricaturists Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Drew Friedman, David Levine and Al Herschfeld, has an approach and style uniquely his own, ostensibly utilizing pen and ink with cross-hatching for texture and depth. It looks "loose," but a great deal of thought and draftsmanship have gone into each subject. I love his stuff.

As for yours truly, I take inspiration from virtually all of these greats and, sometimes, I'll even draw on a project in one's specific style, almost as a fun challenge to see how close I can "arrive" at that approach (though nothing Gersten-like this time around).

Here are a handful of corporate-types:

Check us out again the first Tuesday of next month, for another captivating, compelling consideration of the art of caricature with Caricatures by Joel.