No, he’s not some Brooklyn hipster battle-rapper…he’s Benny Leonard, former lightweight boxing champion and the original Ghetto Wizard (when the L.E.S. was still a ghetto a not a hookah-bar hotspot). This portrait is a warm-up for, what I hope to be, a series of stories featuring Benny and second generation tenement life in New York. That is, if I can climb from beneath this pile of graphic work and find my drawing table again….it’s here somewhere.
Hello internets. I realize I’ve been away for sometime, but despair not…for new material is coming your way! Here’s something to whet your whistle whilst I whittle away at some new projects:
As a New Yorker, it’s been difficult to avoid the recent Mad Men advertising onslaught. I guess this recent image is in response to the pervasiveness of Don Draper’s falling, flailing, featureless form plastered in every subway station on the island. Why I translated Mr. Hamm’s of-an-era visage through the stylistic lens of the most-admirable Chuck Close (if you don’t know Chuck Close, go find out about him, he’s incredible!) I’m not entirely certain. Does that ambiguity, intentional or not, qualify this as a mash-up?
I find it rather interesting that the proximate environment can have a significant effect on how one, consciously or not, ‘sees,’ that is, how they are attracted to, influenced by and subsequently interpret (artistically) their surroundings. Since moving back to the city from the green mountains of Vermont, I’ve noticed my own drawings taking on a more vertical aspect; rounded, open and organic forms give way to overlapping angles and spaces crowded with signs and signifiers. Can this idea be applied in an art history context, perhaps providing insight into the development of an individual artist’s aesthetic preference? Or would such an analysis be distracting, its diagnostic and prognostic intentions obfuscating inspiration and the indefinite spark of creative genius?
Yes, it’s true, I confess. I’ve neglected my duties to the internets by letting this blog lay fallow. But now that I’ve received an MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies, it’s time to get this space back in shape. So, for the next few months, I’ll be updating regularly with work I’ve completed over the past year. On that note, here are two excerpts from the rebooted (thesis) Studio Laffitte: a linocut poster (which serves as an interior, color plate chapter divider) and a cover.
I’ve also (finally!) set up a portfolio site, registered at the convenient address: JonFineArts.com. Check it out! (Constructive) criticism always welcome.
So now that I’m back at the Center for Cartoon Studies for my second year, I thought it would be an appropriate time to update this blog. Here are several pages from my last year’s mini-thesis, titled Studio Laffitte, which will be receiving a massive overhaul as part of my year-long thesis work.
Also, here are some additional sketches from the N-Man project, a pinup of everyone’s favorite Cold War Cockroach and an inked version of that commie canine, Gulag Dog (Laika + Marx + Lenin + Stalin)!