February 23, 2018
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.


La Pierre


My cover for this week’s The Nation illustrates the interesting case of New York’s Left/Right Governor Andrew Cuomo. In a good read by Eric Alterman we see that 2016 considerations make him a celebrated and frustrating figure to the people who voted for him.

My solution was to see if it were possible to render three portraits in one. This would involve each eye serving two different aspects of the face. How to make this work? I have discovered that you might be very confident about an idea but you won’t really know until you start sketching (reminder to my students: it’s all about the sketch). It so happened that this one came together fast. Great thanks to Roane Carey, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Milton Glaser, Sue Walsh.

Cuomo Triple Portrait
Nation cover Cuomo Triple Portrait

This falls under the category of  what the great designer and author Steven Heller calls “human experiments”, the using of features in unexpected manipulation that, one hopes, makes sense as illustration. Below are what might be some other examples of this.




This for a book called “Fold and Tuck”, taking the wonderful Al Jaffee’s Mad magazine fold-in page and using this with only heads. For example, when you folded Jerry Lewis into Ronald Reagan . .


Fold N Tuck Bush Lewis Reagan

Lewis Bush

. . . you got George Bush Sr.

ColeFor a while I experimented in what was once called Topsy Turvys, seeing how an image that changes when you looked at it upside down. So here, reunifying Germany, was Helmut Kohl . . .



. . . and also Otto von Bismarck, another unifier.

Candidate Fantasia 1988Here’s a fantasia on Campaign ’88, composed of body parts.

AH Teddy Hart Jimmy SavoI think this week in the back of my mind was this piece by one of our Olympians, Al Hirschfeld, who saw similarities between Broadway comedians Teddy Hart and Jimmy Savo in “The Boys From Syracuse”. Mistaken identity was part of the plot. He used this solution in several other pieces as well.

Baskin Twain


Here’s a piece sent to me by my friend composer and Renaissance Mensch Arthur Maisel. A beauty by Leonard Baskin.






Subways are for Sleeping March 18 2013


Bush Victory PF@0Iraq ten year update. The war criminal who started an unnecessary war that killed over 4,000 US troops, hundreds of thousand of innocent Iraqi people, phyisically and psychologically injured millions more, some for life, is still at large.

Gawker.com has found his email so we can all send Mr. Bush a message so we can now all stay in close touch. Please send him my very best regards and hopes that he may spend the next anniversary and all the others in a warm, quiet place.




Carol Gray