John S Cuneo
May 2011
I don't know how caricaturists do that thing they do. Conjuring likenesses from shapes, marks and hieroglyphics- as practiced by your Eric Palma's, your Piven's, your Brodner's and your Kirsten Ulve's among many others - is a spooky kind of alchemy . I grant that my definition here is a narrow one ( I am, after all, excluding concept and context ) but I've always considered "real" caricature to be a remote and mysterious talent. Luckily, I'm usually just asked to get a likeness -maybe even a "humorous likeness" if the wind is right . Here are a couple of recent efforts. Above, for Kelly Doe at the NY Times, who requested a pensive looking Warren Buffett and needed a drawing in a couple of hours.
The musicians Chris Daniels and Hazel Miller, for a poster promoting their appearance at a Colorado street fair this summer.
A sketchbook drawing of the English poet Philip Larkin.
Junk mail
I was reading about Charles Keene, the great British illustrator who worked from about 1850 to 1890. To keep his drawings loose, he worked on little scraps of paper, with homemade pens and ink. I saw an original of his once - a tiny sepia sketch done on a corner of a torn envelope- and it looked exquisitely spontaneous ( but brutal, probably, for the engraver to reproduce). Of course it's a lot easier to doodle on the back of the mail when you're not worried about doing "final" art. Almost all of it looks like shit and gets tossed and recycled, yet here are a few recent back-of-the-envelope things that - for reasons I am unable to articulate but are likely dubious - have managed to avoid the cut.
Sea burial. A very preliminary sketch. I know a guy who knows a guy, who's got a cousin in the Navy who said it probably went down something like this, but who knows.
I don't recommend this paper for watercolor. I don't recommend these pants either.
It's an awfully a big word for drawing little animals. Here's a few recent attempts to invest some human qualities into a critter or inanimate object. This first one is for Garden & Gun magazine. AD Marshall McKinney
For an essay about TV addiction, for Stanford mag. Art Direction by Giorgia Virgili
A scribbled comp for a children's book called "Play Date".
A rough sketch for a PlanSponser assignment for AD SooJin Buzelli
Anthony Bourdain eats a bat and the ladies love him for it. For a book review in Atlantic. AD Melissa Bluey. (Am not sure that bat has any anthropomorphized human qualities, but I'm told that Anthony Bourdain does.)
A man attempting to outrun his former body image. For an article in Runner's World, Art Directed by Kory Kennedy. Soon to be turned into a Major Motion picture sequel, "Pumpkinhead 5-K"
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