April 29, 2017
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

BINGSOP’S FABLES

Scenes from Bingsop’s Fables, by Stanley Bing, published by Harper Collins, in which the character Bingsop lays down the laws of the business jungle. Too many illustrations by yours truly.  For example:

 

The Miserable Miserly Mogul Gets Served

The Potentially Generous CEO and the Idiots Who Misjudged the Depths of His Largesse

When Worlds Collide

The Former CEO Who Would Be King

The Veep and the Creep

Politics Makes Smart Bedfellows

The President of Sales vs. The Lazy Sales Weasels

The Stupid Investor Gets Outsmarted…Again!

Publicity Hungry Wart Hogs

The Human Resources Guy Who Became Something of a Hipster

AI WEIWEI by EUGENE SONG

The world is speaking out (with artists in the front lines), against the detention and punishment of Ai Weiwei for doing what artists must do every day everywhere: telling the truth. Architect, designer, artist, citizen, he has been challenging the government of China on its censorship policies, as well as its overall disregard for human rights in China. His level of commitment is brave and world pressure can have an impact.  Support him here:

http://freeaiweiwei.org/

 

His pieces recently unveiled in Central Park

The Wall St. Journal:

As Chinese artist-activist Ai Weiwei’s monumental bronze sculptures became the first public art exhibition at New York City’s Grand Army Plaza, one of the gateways to Central Park, the artist himself remains detained in his homeland–a scenario Mayor Michael Bloomberg described as “bittersweet” in an address Wednesday.

One of China’s most famous figures, Ai had been scheduled to attend the opening of “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,” but he has been in custody and under investigation for “suspected economic crimes”–and out of contact since he was led away by government officials at a Beijing airport on April 3.

As he unveiled the artist’s 800-pound bronzes, the mayor criticized what he described as China’s disregard for freedom of expression.

“Artists risk everything to create. They risk failure. They risk rejection. They risk public criticism. But artists like Ai Weiwei, who come from places that do not value and protect free speech, risk even more than that,” Bloomberg said. “His willingness to take those risks, and face the consequences, speaks not only to his courage, but also to the indomitable desire for freedom that is inside every human being.”

 

Eugene Song graduated with BFA in animation and film and MFA in illustration from FIT . She worked as a graphic designer in Korea.  Her biggest inspirations are traditional Asian woodblock printings, patterns and textures. Things dark, gloomy, scary but graceful and beautiful are her obsession .

She wants to affect people’s memories and  wants her images to last in their minds. As an illustrator, her goal is to create an impacting and unique style, which can fit the commercial and noncommercial.

“I hope when people look my work, it inspires them, creates emotion, and is memorable.”, she says.

 

 

 

 

JOHN CUNEO, THE COVER

One of my favorite artists is getting the spotlight this week with a fab NYr cover.  Congrats to both John Cuneo AND The New Yorker.  For being great and smart, respectively.  Hoping for many more . . .

On The Campaign Trail

Since 1987 I have covered over 50 stories for publications ranging from The Progressive to The New Yorker to American Lawyer. These have mostly been political stories; campaigns, issues, events. Here are some of the places the work has taken me.

George W. Bush in Texas, reelection, 1998

Ollie North in Virginia. Four-way race for senate: North, Charles Robb, Douglas Wilder, Marshall Coleman.  The New Yorker, 1998

 

The People of the Colonias, immigrants on the border, Texas Monthly, 2006

From The Capitol at Austin for Texas Monthly, the upper and lower houses.  In the Assembly we have a more egalitarian, down and dirty politics, while in the Senate there is a more patrician feel.  On the day I visited in 2007 Walter Cronkite, a native Texan, was honored. In person.

 

The state capitol in Austin is very impressive.  The tourists agree and you can tell by their camera phone salutes.

More to come . . .

LIVE FROM TURKEY, 2006

Hi from Istanbul 


Greetings from Turkey! I’m revisiting the town that enchanted me when I was here in June. Then I was a member of the Aydin Dogun International Cartoon Contest. This time I’m here to help give awards to the winners. I’ve been traveling around town seeing sites with these folks and getting to know them. They are from all over the world (Iran, China, Poland, Ukraine, etc.) but we all have a great deal in common: we’re all very devoted to cartoons and illustrations and will overcome most anything to get the chance to work.
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I was very inspired by Ohran Pamuk, the Nobel Prize winner this year. When he was young he was a painter inspired by his city, yearning to tell it’s stories. He still does it. He discusses the feeling of Huzun, which is a kind of melancholy special, he thinks to Turkey. Maybe Turkey and Brooklyn.

By this he means a kind of coming to grips with the loss of world status as a power that lasted almost 2000 years, and how amidst the ruins of Empire there are human ruins. Here’s the view from my hotel. The magnificent Blue Mosque, sitting obliviously atop the struggling world below.


As soon as I arrived yesterday I took a walk along the Bosphorus and met some fisherman.


A very talkative one was grieving over the Israeli bombing of Palestinian civilians and then gave me the election results.


Julian Pena Pai of Romania, another winner. He works for three newspapers, does two cartoons a day, makes 1000 Euros a month. His wife brings in 400. They have 3 kids.



Things we saw today. The Ayasofya: Byzantine, then Ottoman, then municipal shrine. It is the tangible ghost of human striving (10,000 workers built it in 5 years) and political/cultural dynamism.

Turkish kids are amazing. Very open and trusting. They only know one English word and attack you with it. With a warm embrace of life they say, �Hey, mister, see me!!! We said, he’s Iranian, he’s Chinese, he’s American. They said, Hello!!!



This tree in the Topkapi Palace is 600 hundred years old. From, like, the Crusades!

An Italian tourist.



Istanbul street sweeper.


So we finally arrived at the awards ceremony last night. This guy couldn’t wait for it to start. 



The first prize went to Pawel Kuczynski of Poland. His art was of soldiers taking thread and sewing up trenches. Kind of like a prayer.