Stephen Kroninger
Bernie Sanders

NY Observer/Forgotten Caricaturists
 This week's New York Observer includes a shout out to Drew Friedman's and mine talk on Forgotten Caricaturists. Yeah, you missed the talk but if you come by the studio I might be cajoled into giving you a truncated version of it.


Recently, I was pleased to learn that my album cover for ESG is included in Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye at the Museum of Modern Art.
"Music and design—art forms that share aesthetics of rhythm, tonality, harmony, interaction, and improvisation—have long had a close affinity, perhaps never more so than during the 20th century. Radical design and technological innovations, from the LP to the iPod and from the transistor radio to the Stratocaster, have profoundly altered our sense of how music can be performed, heard, distributed, and visualized. Avant-garde designers...have pushed the boundaries of their design work in tandem with the music of their time. Drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection, Making Music Modern gathers designs for auditoriums, instruments, and equipment for listening to music, along with posters, record sleeves, sheet music, and animation. The exhibition examines alternative music cultures of the early 20th century, the rise of radio during the interwar period, how design shaped the “cool” aesthetic of midcentury jazz and hi-fidelity culture, and its role in countercultural music scenes from pop to punk, and later 20th-century design explorations at the intersection of art, technology, and perception."
 The exhibit includes works by Kurt Schwitters, Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, Reid Miles, Richard Hamilton, Tadanori Yokoo, Klaus Voorman, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Victor Moscoso, Lilly Reich, Barney Bubbles, Jørn Utzon, Tibor Kahlman, Hiroshi Ohchi, Paula Scher, Hipgnosis, Jamie Reid, Richard McGuire, Daniel Libseskind, Alan Aldridge, Robert Brownjohn, John & Faith Hubley, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Martin Sharp, Jan Van Hamersveld, Wes Wilson and Richard Avedon among others.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY
Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor
This exhibition is organized by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Luke Baker, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA.
The exhibition runs through January 16, 20016.
A few iPhone grabs from the exhibit

My autographed copy.
"ESG’s name is less known than it should be, but its influence runs deep—which is likely why Come Away with ESG sounds so shockingly current. The band revolved around the Bronx’s Scroggins sisters (Marie played congas and sang, Renee sang and Valerie drummed) with friends David Miles and Leroy Glover joining them on guitar and bass.
Short for Emerald, Sapphire and Gold, the name reflected the rarity and preciousness of their style; similar to the spacey, hypnotic sound of dub reggae, this is dub disco with a punk edge. Whether dark and moody or bright and bubbly, the songs are always pared down to the most kinetic essentials. Jittery cymbals and colorful congas lock into minimal polyrhythms, as deep bass grooves and sleek, cooing vocals provide infectious melodies.
The repetitive exhortations to dance and feel good are pure disco-diva hedonism, but placed in a context favoring simplicity over opulence, they become schoolyard chants. “Come away with me, oh yeah! / We’ll have a good time,” the sisters sing on the clattering title track, and you totally believe it. Resting on a bedrock of taut, stark rhythms and echoing vocal embellishments, each track is distinct: The guitar part of “Chistelle” is like shadowy surf-rock, and the eerily twisting synth melody of “About You” predicts (years in advance) the West Coast gangsta rap known as G-funk.
The band broke up soon after Come Away with ESG, but went on to become heavily sampled in hip-hop (as befits their Bronx pedigree) by icons such as Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, J-Dilla and Gang Starr. They were a huge inspiration for the dance-punk craze of the last decade, especially !!!, and their influence is writ large in the music of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, himself one of the most influential figures in modern independent music. In retrospect, it can be hard to connect the bleakness of an act like Mars to the friendliness of ESG—the lineage is more spiritual than sonic—but both bands were crucial in an ongoing process, which would accelerate rapidly with the rise of the Internet, wherein popular music realized it didn’t have to be one thing. It could be everything, or nothing. Thankfully, following ESG’s example, it chose everything."---source Paste Magazine
A college radio station copy adding more collage to the mix. (Review Revue: ESG – Come Away with ESG)
Oliver W. Harrington 1912 -1995

 This post celebrates the work Oliver W. Harrington. I included the Times obituary below to offer some biography but, as always, I like to let the artist speak for himself by presenting their art. The bulk of these images come from Dark Laughter: The Satiric Art of Oliver W. Harrington. "Most of the Bootsie cartoons derive from the late 1950s and 1960s...and the color cartoons were published in East German magazines during the 1970s and 1980s." There are many more in the book including a section featuring several covering the Reagan era. It's well worth the 25 bucks and a place on your bookshelf.
"Oliver W. Harrington began his career as a cartoonist when there were few blacks in that profession. His friend, the writer Langston Hughes, called him America's most popular black cartoonist and a first-rate social satirist.

Cartoons featuring Bootsie, a black man whom Mr. Harrington described in a 1964 book as "a jolly, rather well-fed but soulful character," appeared in The Amsterdam News in New York City, in The Pittsburgh Courier and elsewhere. Sometimes Bootsie is only an offstage presence: in one cartoon, two children peer out a tenement window at a robin.

The boy says: "Oooh, look, Sis, a robin red breast, and it must be spring. Do you reckon Uncle Bootsie was lying when he said spring comes three weeks earlier over 'cross town where the white folks live?"

In a chapter that Mr. Harrington contributed to the 1964 book "Harlem, U.S.A.," he recalled that Bootsie was born in 1936, after the editor of The Amsterdam News had hired him as a temporary cartoonist.

"Luckily, not much imagination was needed for the job," Mr. Harrington wrote. "I simply recorded the almost unbelievable but hilarious chaos around me and came up with a character. It seems that one of the local numbers runners dug my cartoon, and nobody covers as much Harlem territory as the numbers man. And so the cartoon's popularity grew by word of his mouth, which was very big."

The newspaper's city editor named the character Bootsie, andMr. Harrington recalled, "I was more surprised than anyone when Brother Bootsie became a Harlem household celebrity." Besides Mr. Hughes, Mr. Harrington was a friend of other writers who were part of what became known as the Harlem Renaissance, including Arna Bontemps and Rudolph Fisher.

Mel Watkins wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1993: "Mr. Harrington is a gifted painter and fine artist. His drawings, unlike those of many cartoonists, often transcend mere caricature even as they convey the impressionistic vigor and ironic thrust demanded by the genre. As his essays and cartoons demonstrate, much of his life and work was shaped by outrage at the way he and other blacks were treated."

His criticism of what he called nationwide apathy about legislation against lynching came under scrutiny from the F.B.I. during the McCarthy era. Mr. Harrington left the United States and lived for some years in Paris, where he was part of a group of black American expatriates that included the authors Richard Wright and Chester Himes.

During his years abroad, he wrote articles for American periodicals. A collection of those articles, "Why I Left America: And Other Essays," edited by M. Thomas Inge, was published by University Press of Mississippi in 1993, as was the book "Dark Laughter: The Satiric Art of Oliver W. Harrington," also edited by Professor Inge, of Randolph-Macon College.

"Dark Laughter" contained some of Mr. Harrington's best artwork from the six decades beginning with the 1930's, including much Bootsie cartoon work. It also featured what Mr. Watkins, reviewing both books jointly in The Times, called "the more openly satiric political cartoons" that Mr. Harrington produced for publications in East Germany and elsewhere.

Mr. Harrington was born in Valhalla, N.Y., and was reared mostly in the South Bronx. He became interested in cartooning as a schoolboy, he later recalled, when he drew caricatures of a teacher whom he considered a bigot.

He went on to receive a bachelor's degree from Yale University, then studied at the National Academy of Design. He also worked in public relations for the N.A.A.C.P. and served as art editor of The People's Voice."
---- source, New York Times, November 7, 1995


caption: "Now I aint so sure I wanna get educated!‘ (1963)










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