Monday, June 6, 2016

A Feast for the Eyes...and Mouth

A little over two years ago, I ran a column in this space on the Palm restaurant -- as famous for its caricatures festooning the walls of its restaurants throughout the country as it is for its renowned gourmet meats and lobster. 

Here's a personal update since this feature first appeared.
Welcome to the June edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.

According to Wikipedia, here's the background on that festive yet curious marriage of cartoon and culinary arts:

"When Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi opened The Palm Restaurant in 1926, they had no money to decorate. Luckily, their location on Manhattan’s Second Avenue was in close proximity to the headquarters of King Features Syndicate and attracted a large clientele of cartoonists. In exchange for their meals, artists would often draw their own creations on the walls of The Palm.

"Over the years, the tradition of decorating (the) locations with caricatures has continued as (they’ve) expanded across the country and internationally. Before a new restaurant opens, 200 to 300 local notables' likenesses are placed on the walls, and new caricatures of regulars and celebrities are added regularly. Not surprisingly, the most in-demand wall space is at the original Second Avenue location, where only five caricatures are added each year due to space constraints."

Recently, I had the good fortune and privilege to be named by our local Charlotte Palm as their newest artist-in-residence to contribute “portrai-catures,” as I call them, to their famed walls. So far, I’ve got five up (business people; no celebrities yet…), and anticipate more to come.

Here's how they look, individually, and all together on one wall column (mine, with the exception of the second one from the bottom of the group picture).

Whereas virtually all other art adorning the walls has been first produced on some kind of drawing surface and then transferred and affixed to the walls, my directive was to draw directly on the wall. A challenge to be sure, with virtually no margin for error.

Oh well, Michaelangelo didn't have White-Out at his disposal, either.

In any event, this is certainly an apex of my career, and I am most appreciative for the opportunity.

Do you dine often at The Palm?  Who knows, you may be in my sights next…

See you the first Tuesday of next month, when you will again have virtually in the Palm of your hand, the next Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.