Today on the site Richard Gehr returns with an interview with New Yorker cartoonist Ed Koren.
GEHR: The New Yorker used to really depict the city through its cartoons. It taught people how to look at New York in a very specific way. It constructed a New York just as much as movies did.
KOREN: Well, it did that when New York figured more in the drawings, which it doesn’t now. There’s this great Ralph Barton drawing from the thirties, with garbage men throwing garbage cans around in a giant courtyard. It was a beautiful drawing. And that was New York. That was exactly what New York would be like. He had a way of characterizing the almost primal and demonic noise made by the garbagemen. It was fascinating. He got a lot the city’s abrasiveness as well. There were so many drawing like that. Alan Dunn was a consummate draftsman of the city. Charles Addams got a lot of the city with that Halloween cover [October 31, 1983], with the wonderful contrast and great point of view looking down on the taxi and the doorman. There was a lot of that. Now, I’m not so sure.
GEHR: Are you conscious of doing social journalism as a cartoonist?
KOREN: In a way I’m always conscious of that, because that’s what I’m really interested in. I hearken back to those nineteenth-century French caricaturists and, in particular, my mentor Monsieur Daumier. I just love his feel for subjects, his sense of the moment of their lives, and how he reads character in relation to their social situations, what they’re doing, and where they are on the social ladder. I draw a lot of inspiration from that. I’m not a sort of person who mixes that easily. I always sit on the sidelines looking, taking it in. I’ve learned a lot from artists like John Sloan, Thomas Hart Benton, Reginald Marsh, and the Ashcan artists, who were really out there looking at New York in social terms. That fascinated me.
I’ll always link to Brian Ralph news.
Hey it’s a ton of Black Flag flyers by Raymond Pettibon. Not comics but pretty damn close enough.
I didn’t know that most of Donna Barr’s work was available digitally.
The Kus anthology is having an exhibition.
And more New Yorker for you today — the drawn journal of Joana Avillez.