Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Barry Blitt, Invisible Man

While reading a Frank Rich op-ed in the New York Times over the weekend about the billionaire Koch brothers who've been funding the Tea Party movement, I fell in love with the accompanying illustration.

Drawing of a marionette figure walking over a tiny demonstration, sign in hand reading Honk if you fail to see the irony in any of this
Not surprisingly, it was by Barry Blitt.

Best known to the public for the controversial pre-election New Yorker cover that depicted the Obamas as radical fist-bumpers, Blitt is an illustrator who gets a lot of work published. Despite that, there's very little easy-to-find information about him on the interweb... no Wikipedia page, no complete bio, nothing.

All I can find out is that he's Canadian (from near Montreal) and lives in Connecticut. No idea how old he is or where -- or whether -- he went to art school. I believe the New Yorker covers on his portfolio website go back to 1994, so that gives some idea that he's not 23, I guess.

Here are a few of his less-political pieces that I particularly liked.

Children in bumpercars that have airbags triggered upon collision
This makes me think of Pete Hautmann's book Rash, which takes place in a future America where high schoolers running track have to wear helmets and padding.

Babies in the window of a store, like a pet shop, with a woman looking through as if she's thinking of picking one
A brilliant swipe at the baby-acquiring classes.
A naked man wearing only a box looks at a department store window featuring a man wearing a barrel
In this economy, everyone needs something to aspire toward.

Chimps at typewriters, each with a different expression, one is laughing uproarieously
An infinite number of monkeys might be able to write Hamlet, but they could never draw like Barry Blitt.

1 comment:

Sandbou said...

Barry Blitt is my favorite cartoonist. He always surprises me,and I laugh out loud.
Sandy Boucher, Oakland, CA