This Friday would have been Kurt Vonnegut's 100th birthday. To commemorate the occasion, Drew Friedman painted this portrait, which is available as a print on his website.
KURT VONNEGUT, JR. (1922-2007) was a novelist, science-fiction icon, visionary, satirist, short story writer, philosopher, humorist, playwright, essayist, "frustrated idealist," literary experimentalist, and wry observer of American society.
"His opinion of human nature was low," wrote Lev Grossman in a 2007 obit, "and that low opinion applied to his heroes and villains alike—he was endlessly disappointed in humanity and in himself, and he expressed that disappointment in a mixture of tar-black humor and deep despair." Vonnegut's cynicism could be summed up in six words: "Technology changes. Sociology remains the same."
In a 2006 Rolling Stone interview, Vonnegut asserted that he wanted to sue tobacco giant Brown & Williamson, maker of the Pall Mall cigarettes he'd smoked since his teens, for false advertising: "I'm 83 years old," he fumed. "On the package Brown & Williamson promised to kill me. The lying bastards!"
Vonnegut was an admirer of Drew Friedman's art and wrote the introduction to Friedman's 1990 collection Warts And All (co-written by Josh Alan Friedman, published by Penguin).