Sunday, March 29, 2015

An evening with Steve Brodner...

Recently, one of America's most prominent satirical illustrators, Steve Brodner, took the train down from NYC to Baltimore, so he could spend an evening chatting to folks interested in his work. I was one of those folks!  
I'd actually met Steve once before, in 2004 when he was the guest speaker for ISCA's (then the National Caricaturists Network's) annual convention, in Florida that year. Of course I didn't expect him to remember me, but he did remember that it was a crazy week with us. ;-)
This time, he was sharing his thought process with an audience at Johns Hopkins University.  The evening was actually re-scheduled from 2014...when it was cancelled by a snowstorm. This year's event skated in just after a hellacious ice storm. (But global warming is a topic for another day!) The facilitator for the evening was Tom Chalkley, a delightful JHU professor, caricaturist and friend, who is also the man responsible for introducing my colleague-in-crime Celestia Ward to the world of caricature in her college days. Yes, caricaturists comprise a small, some-might-say-incestuously-small, industry in the larger world of artists. 
Steve gave an amusing overview of his career, his process, and his politics, and told some very witty anecdotes...he is quite comfortable speaking in public, which I find amazing as a visual artist. The turnout was around eighty to a hundred. But the real one-two punch of the evening was the visuals:
The thing I find most inspiring about Steve is how passionate he is about his work, and that comes through when you look at how witheringly he sees his victims. 
(Interestingly, Steve's art is a current subject on an illustration blog I read....
held up as an example of "extreme" caricature. The blogger's opinions don't jibe with mine, as he seems to be saying that Hirschfeld's, Levine's (whose work I LOVE) and Drucker's art fall in a different category as "mere likenesses". Sigh. Anyway, be prepared to read a LOT of LOOOOONG comments if you like debate. 
Too bad it's white text on black too, I hate that!!!)

Back to Baltimore: I had a chance to say hello. :-)
Afterwards,  a few of us adjourned for a pleasant meal....Fellow ISCA members from Maryland Rick Wright and Mike Hasson joined us, along with artist pals Toonboy Smith and Patrick Harnett... and my devoted Other Half.  :-)
Draw, Mike, draw!!! 

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