My friend James Gurney is the creator of Dinotopia, and he is a sketching fanatic. When I had lunch with him at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank a couple of years ago, he and his wife (also an artist) stayed at the restaurant after the meal to sketch street scenes. He just posted this excellent short video with a sketch he made of some men at the Santa Monica pier.
In 1981 I drew a portrait of two guys on the Santa Monica pier, then asked them to describe themselves into a tape recorder. For the first time, their faces and voices are brought together in a talking portrait.
Talking Portrait: 17th Street Locos
Our pal Coop is interviewed in the latest edition of Reason TV.
Reason's Brian Doherty sat down with internationally renowned underground artist Chris "Coop" Cooper in Reason's LA studios to discuss discuss everything from intellectual property and censorship to the inspiration for Coop's radical art project. Cooper, who provided the cover illustration to the December 2012 issue of Reason, is one of the most prolific and provocative designers and artists working today. For more information, visit www.theartofcoop.com. Doherty is the author of This is Burning Man and, most recently, The Ron Paul rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.
Earl Norem, age 88, painted this stunning cover for the upcoming issue of Classics Obliterated. See more of Norem's work here.
June 2013 Mars Attacks
(Via Duane Swierczynski)
Artist Drew Friedman has assembled a nice gallery of airbrush illustrator extraordinaire Robert Grossman's work. I became familiar with Grossman's illustrations by reading National Lampoon
(Thank goodness the Boulder Public Library subscribed to it so I could read it when I was 11 years old). Grossman also did work for Paul Krassner's The Realist
, and illustrated the cover of The Firesign Theatre's LP, Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers
The Caricature Art of Robert Grossman
Illustrator, sculptor, comics artist, animator Robert Grossman has had an astounding career covering the last 50 years. To say he's the greatest airbrush artist/caricaturist of all time isn't hyperbole, it's an understatement. Picking just a few samples from his incredible body of work is a near impossible task (he's created over 500 magazine covers alone!) but I'm presenting some of my favorites. If anyone deserves to have a career retrospective/anthology it's Bob Grossman. Check out these beautifully rendered, consistently brilliant and memorable illustrations, most chosen from the 60's-80's. As Steven Heller wrote: "his mordant wit is never duplicated".
Bob is still going strong, turning out wonderful new drawings and comic strips regularly for, among others, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic and the NY Observer where I've been proud to have alternated with him as a regular cover artist for the last 20 years.
From our friends at House Industries: an iPhone app that offers different House-designed fonts to add text to your photos. Based on House's terrific (and cheap!) Photo-Lettering service.
Photolettering - House Industries
Stendahl Syndrome alert! This trailer for a documentary about sign painters made me swoon.
There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.
In 2010 Directors Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, with Cinematographer Travis Auclair, began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. The documentary and book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.
Buy Sign Painters book
LA architecture historian Chris Nichols says: "I am hosting an evening with Disney legend Bob Gurr next Wednesday at the Hollywood Heritage Museum. Bob designed the Monorail, Autopia, Flying Saucers, and all the ride vehicles at Disneyland starting in 1954 and is a really inspiring designer and super-cool guy. It's a small room and we're almost full, so please click on the ticket link below if you can come. I look forward to seeing you there."
Bob Gurr is a Disney pioneer who began working on Disneyland the year before it opened. He imagineered the original Monorail, Autopia and many iconic ride vehicles for all of the Disney parks. On March 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, he will discuss his memorable theme park and movie creations, including Disney's animatronic Abraham Lincoln, Universal's King Kong, concepts for the Jurassic Park dinosaurs and robots for the 1998 production of Godzilla. In addition, he will autograph his book, Design: Just For Fun. Disney fans won't want to miss this rare opportunity to hear Mr. Gurr share memories from his legendary career. This evening is sure to be a sell-out, so book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!
Evening @ the Barn: Bob Gurr - Disney Imagineering Pioneer
At $425 each, this set of 3 will run you 3 X $425.
(I suspect Warhol wouldn't have created his boxes had he been exposed to this design travesty instead of James Harvey's masterpiece.)
Our friend Amy Crehore
is ArtSlant's Armory Arts Week Edition Featured Artist! She says:
Armory Week is important to me because it is the 100th Anniversary of the 1913 Armory Show in NYC. That particular show opened American eyes to a "Modern Art" movement that was happening in Europe at the time. Organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, it also travelled to Chicago and Boston. ArtSlant did a special feature on me to help me celebrate and I could not be more thrilled. Check it out!
ArtSlant: Amy Crehore
This photo of Ringo Starr reminded me of the above painting by Frank Frazetta, which appeared on the back cover of MAD #90 in October 1964. I remember seeing it when I was about 12 years old or so, and being just as fascinated by it as MAD's art director, Sam Viviano:
"The best use of MAD's back cover, for me, was as a vehicle for ad parodies, which were always so carefully put together that at first look they seemed to be the real thing. This back cover features a takeoff of the ads for Breck Shampoo which had been running for decades in magazines such as Ladies’ Home Journal and Harper's Bazaar. These ads featured pastel portraits of beautiful young women with silky long hair, rendered from 1936 to 1957 by Charles Sheldon and thereafter by the illustrator Ralph William Williams. (The campaign ended with Williams' death in 1976.) MAD's takeoff, with the headline, "Make Beautiful Hair BLECCH," portrayed — rather than a beautiful young woman with long, silky hair — a not-so-beautiful young man with long, silky hair (a novelty in 1964) — specifically, Ringo Starr, drummer for the Beatles. The portrait itself was painted with full Ralph William Williams lusciousness by infrequent MAD contributor Frank Frazetta. As an impressionable 11-year-old, I was fascinated by how a single image could be both beautiful and grotesque, precisely accurate and extravagantly exaggerated. It firmed up my ambition, already stoked by countless pages of Mort Drucker art, to pursue a career as a humorous illustrator."
Check out all the MAD staff's favorite back covers here.
The MAD Staff Picks Their Favorite Back Covers: Art Director Sam Viviano
A zombie's dream - an entire head made of brains! A pricey delicacy, though: 200,00 €
Skull Brain Porcelain by Emilio Garcia (Via This Isn't Happiness)
From chalk artist Chris Carlson
Our friend Molly Crabapple and others are featured in this excellent PBS short documentary about illustrators.
Illustrators articulate what a photograph cannot. Using an array of techniques and styles, illustrators evoke stories and meaning in a variety of mediums, from editorial illustration in magazines and newspapers, to comics books, to activist media. And as their tasks over the years have become less informational and more expressive, their individual voice as artists becomes all the more critical and beautiful, revealing an exciting and awe-inspiring age of illustration.
The Art of Illustration | Off Book | PBS
Our pal Rob Walker says:
Once upon a time, designer/artist Shawn Wolfe conjectured an imaginary product, backed by a vigorous ersatz ad campaign: The RemoverInstaller™. More recently, in a special arrangement that (disclosure!) I was involved in, a limited number of RemoverInstaller™s were 3D-printed on a MakerBot Replicator for a show at apexart in New York.
And now a limited number, with Shawn's amazing packaging, are for sale ... and so reasonably priced!
Snap 'em up.
Shawn did a bunch of great illustrations for bOING bOING and the Happy Mutant Handbook.
Boing Boing friends Oric Scott De Las Casas and Allen Yamashita have founded Curio House, a new media venture launching in 2013. Ramping up, they're offering a series of prints from Dan Hipp, Bill Sienkiewicz, Eric Orchard, Adam Van Wyk, and the late, great Mike "Ringo" Wieringo. Opening at 4pm today, the prints are for sale through Tuesday, December 18th at
4pm PST. Don't delay, as they will be limited to the number sold within 96 hours.
Eagle-eyed art connoisseur Oric says: "We thought it would be cool to do a short burst of a mini-launch as a sneak peak. And it's our way of saying, 'Hello and see you next year.'" Lavishly produced, the prints, from Scott and Allen's talented friends and collaborators, are a mix of images from upcoming projects and some of their favorite art from the last few years.