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Steve Wacksman
Robert Deniro And How He Got To Be This Way
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I often find myself defending my lack of interest in art galleries and museums. I'm not particularly well acquainted with the masters of the art world and despite my best efforts to stay awake, often found myself in a black and dreamless sleep during Art History lecture.

Most of the art that I love and respond to is commercial art. A great many of my favorite artists are still alive and living in relative obscurity . Some of them include Art Seiden, Hawley Pratt, Tom Oreb, Aurelius Battaglia, Lowell Hess,Charly Harper and Moritz Kennel. It's more than likely that your average culture-vulture on museum mile will respond to this list with anything more than a blank stare. But these are, to me, awe-inspiring giants of the art universe.
Artwork by Jim Joseph
I've been concentrating on portraits lately. It's a discipline that I never put much effort toward and as a consequence have rarely been called upon to produce them.

Over the holidays I spent some time browsing through my files and books, especially some Childcraft Library Books from the late 60's that have been a longtime source of inspiration. I've referred back to them on this blog repeatedly; they are my primary jumping-off point when approaching work for the children's market. Of course, this usually provokes criticism from AD's and editors that implore me to make my work 'less retro'.

Anyhow, I love how these drawings are done in blue and black.
Art Seiden's masterful linework. He was predominantly a Children's Book illustrator and a masterful colorist as well.
Also I'd been looking extensively at Art Seiden's work letely- this drawing he did of the Rockefeller Center Xmas Tree in particular. I love the way the crowd eventually leans to the right. I shamelessly appropriated his cityscape for my Deniro portrait.
The great Lowell Hess. I think he's still alive- I heard he had Parkinson's.
Lastly was this great piece for Collier's by Lowell Hess. Almost everything that guy ever did makes my head explode, but I know very little about him.
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