Archive for September, 2008

Pat O’Malley in Cleveland Magazine

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This is a portrait of Pat O’Malley that I recently completed for Cleveland Magazine. Pat O’Malley was, until recently, a county recorder and Democratic Party power broker in Cleveland. Employing a spectacular lack of restraint, the depths of his multi-tasking stretched out further to include additional civic enrichment such as public brawling, an FBI investigation, and one particularly sinister toolbox. Remember how the national media went insane covering the fall of Eliot Spitzer? O’Malley should thank the stars that he didn’t work in New York. His story is, to borrow a phrase, “bonkers.

Jen Kessen, the art director at Cleveland Mag, did a great job on the feature spread which can be viewed here.

NYT Book Review – Limits of Power

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Andrew Bacevich’s new book, The Limits of Power, reviewed this past week in the Times’ Book Review, postulates that modern America’s concept of ‘freedom’ has been slowly and steadily confused with ideas of consumption and gluttony. The argument in the book is tied largely to prime examples from the Bush Administration’s foreign policy of the past 7.5 years. It reads like an obvious but necessary point.

Nicholas Blechman actually volunteered to typeset the page around the illustration of the balloon when this idea proved to be the winner among the batch that I sent him for the accompanying illustration. Nicholas Blechman is freakin’ awesome.

Additional sketches that were submitted are below:

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Gray Lady Urologists

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This one required a delicate conversation. The Times’ Science section ran this article a few days ago observing how the field of urology, long dominated by men, has been gaining a more substantial amount of female doctors in recent years. This can make for a somewhat uncomfortable doctor-patient relationship with regards to women touching men’s private parts in a doctor’s office.

Therese Schecter, the art director on this piece, was already close to giggling when she called me to take a crack at it the previous week. It was important to her that it strike just such a balance of humor without heading into pee joke territory or something more substantially gory.

While a stethescope-as-zipper-fly and the modern man’s need for Viagara (pictured below) were considered noble attempts by the brass, nothing quite sold the tragicomic dread of the doctor’s office as the snap of those rubber gloves being befitted by a woman’s hands. Working on this yielded many chortles and cackles, but only because I have been spared the urologist’s waiting room as of late.

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AIGA Gets Out the Vote

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The poster design I submitted for AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign for this fall was one of 23 others selected from a group of over 200 submissions to be professionally printed and distributed around the country to encourage non-partisan voter awareness. The posters are pasted up in storefronts, laundromats, restaurants, dorms and basically any other public place around the country that might have a window. They were also projected at both the Denver Art Museum and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions a short while back. My poster above displays the word ‘Vote’ composed with a microscopic litany of excuses people might use to get out of voting on Election Day.

Given the mile-high snowdrift of gorgeous and inspiring design work that was submitted in the name of voting during this competition, the words ‘honored’ and ‘Really?! Are you sure you mean mine?’ can’t really lend my sentiments an accurate measure. I’m legitimately stunned that mine was selected among so much other, what I consider superior, patriotic ass-kickery. Given that the majority of the others that were chosen were designed by more than a few heroes of mine (SpotCo, Rick Valicenti and Ellen freakin’ Lupton among them), I’m a little bit excited.

Brain = EXPLODED.

A detail of my poster that you might actually be able to read is just below and here’s a gallery slideshow of the other 23 posters that were selected for distribution. Genuinely great work all around.

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Manna From Dolly

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This is a piece I recently completed for the DollyPop exhibit at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery in LA. It’s a group show celebrating the mercurial Ms. Parton as a performer, philanthropist, survivor and unlikely champion of the Great American Experiment. My original idea to celebrate her philanthropy was swiftly derailed on the subway one evening when my future wife Jill suggested this knockout idea of having her hair serve as manna from heaven to the poor and disenfranchised children that she’s helped over the years.

My friends (and fellow Mammals) Ben Marra, Devin Clark and Tom Forget all have pieces in the show as well, which puts me in some fine, fine company. Details of Manna from Dolly are below:

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