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. 

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