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. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Wish I Drew like Friedman

"I never wanted to go out and work. All I wanted to do was watch the Three Stooges and Soupy Sales."

-- Drew Friedman

In previous opuses, I've shined a spotlight on my favorite commercially successful caricaturists. Here's another one.
From his web site: 
Drew Friedman is an award-winning illustrator whose work regularly appears in dozens of major publications. He was initially renowned for his "stippling" style of caricature, employing thousands of pen-marks to achieve photographic-like appearance. in recent years, Friedman has switched to painting. His painstaking attention to detail and parodies of Hollywood icons is widely admired.
Welcome to the August edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist, from Caricatures by Joel.
Friedman's work has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Observer, Esquire, RAW, Rolling Stone, and MAD Magazine. He has also produced several books highlighting his unusually compelling approach. 

Friedman was recognized for his work with the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Illustration Award for 2000, and was nominated again in 2002 and 2007. That organization also awarded Friedman their Magazine Illustration Award for 2000. His work has been included in nine volumes of the American Illustration annual.

There are very few -- you can count them on the fingers of one hand -- caricaturists whose style is one-of-a-kind unique. Drew Friedman, for me, is one of them.

Dare I present some of my own work in a space devoted to one of the iconic greats of this industry?
I dare. (What the hell, it's my space...)
Here are some commissioned personalities I've put to paper through the years:
Pete Rose (on the right): 
The late McDonald's head honcho, Ray Kroc: 
 Simon Cowell:

TV's Platinum Weddings' Tiffany Nieves-Cook:
 Harry Potter:
 See you again the first Tuesday of next month for another quick sketch from Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.