Friday, July 14, 2006

Four Spot Illustrations for New York Press, 2004-2005

Who knows what goes on at New York Press these days? I certainly don’t. The last bit of New York Press news I heard was from recently-departed art director Mike Weber, who I ran into at the release party for Glenn Head’s comics anthology HOTWIRE on May 19th at ROCKETSHIP.

Mike W. told me he’d left New York Press after receiving an edict from the editors banning illustration from the paper. Sad news for me, not because I’m jonesing for more of those notoriously low-paying NYPress illo assignments, but because the paper had a long history of hiring talented, offbeat illustrators, (a pattern established by the paper’s founding art director Michael Gentile back in the late 80’s). I’ve done literally hundreds of drawings for New York Press in the years since I first tiptoed into Michael Gentile’s cubicle with my portfolio; I made lots of friends at the paper, whooped it up at many of their lavish parties, and my wife Linda and I met at the paper. I have a certain amount of sentimental attachment to New York Press, but nowadays I avoid those green plastic boxes on NYC sidewalks because it depresses me to see how far downhill the paper has slid in recent years.

I’m not sure how many art directors have come and gone since Russ Smith sold New York Press in 2003; I’d guess at least five people have landed briefly in that overworked, underpaid spot. Here are four illos I did for New York Press between late 2004 and the middle of 2005; the art directors could’ve been any of the following folks: Roxy Wu, Nick Bilton, Mike Mc Keogh, Jennifer Rodriguez, Christine Baczewska.

Cross-dressing performer Murray Hill:

Poet & playwright Gertrude Stein, (crooning, for some reason):

Jazz pianist Bill Charlap & the ghost of George Gershwin:

The Booty Call in the age of Cellular Phones:

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