Ivy Simones checked in with me last week to see if I was available to do a cover for the New York Observer. I had just got back from a relaxing vacation in the Bahamas with the family and I think those red drinks I had every day at 3:00 pm helped me to forget the mountain of work I would return to. Not that that's a problem, it was kind of relaxing knowing I was going home to a full plate. So in my haze, I said "Well of course I'm available" and quickly realized that maybe I wasn't. But now I was.
For me, there's a certain pressure to doing work for the Observer because some of my favorite artists have passed through that front page. I quickly realized that Chris Payne had done the previous week's issue - an incredible Glenn Beck as Citizen Kane. And then there are all those damn Drew Friedman covers, Victor Juhasz's brilliant works (a take on North by Northwest still drops my jaw every time I see it), and Phillip Burke's insurmountable genius every time his brush hits a canvas. I made the mistake of having a copy of The Kingdom of New York, a compendium of Observer greatest hits, by my desk just to put the fear of god into me as I worked.
The story is about how Land's End, the supposed inspiration for Daisy Buchanan's crib in The Great Gatsby, is about to be razed. It's fallen into disrepair and it's owner feels that it's beyond salvage and it's time to start over. So really, the main character here is the house in all it's shabby glory. I was given a list of bon vivants who donated brain cells in the pursuit of extravagant indulgance. Sounds like they knew how to have fun, but all parties must end.
Did I mention that Ivy was a pleasure to work with? Well she is.