Stephen Kroninger
May 2009
Jacques Kapralik part 1
SILK STOCKINGS (1957) Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse
 Among other things, our daughters are big on movie musicals. Recently they ordered the DVD of Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in SILK STOCKINGS. The cover features the work of Jacques Kapralik, a long time favorite caricaturist of mine.
From "The Lost Artwork of Hollwood" by Fred E. Basten, "The movies' premiere caricaturist, Kapralik assembled bits and pieces of straw, felt, yarn, satin and more to create highly imaginative collages depicting stars in setting appropriate to their latest films. Because much of his work was trade-oriented, he was virtually unknown outside of the motion picture industry. Inside, however, he was a wonder. He was at Paramount and Twentieth Century-Fox in the thirties, yet his most notable output was for MGM the following two decades."
Sadly, there isn't a comprehensive collection of Kapralik's work available. These are all scanned from books in my collection or downloaded from the internet
from GREENBRIAR PICTURE SHOWS, "The process was called "3-D Paper Structure", and he maintained drawers filled with tiny props that he’d use to decorate his canvas. Tiny shoes, jewelry, lamps, pots and pans --- whatever he needed to get the effect he was after. There were facsimiles of popular brand name items, like coffee, flour, and cereals. Endless samples of cloth and yarn were used to create realistic backgrounds. Kapralik would often take six or more weeks to get out just one of his little masterpieces."
Click HERE to see Jacques Kapralik part 2. It features an entirely different set of images.
BABES ON BROADWAY (1941) Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney
from the kids' cd collection

KEEPER OF THE FLAME (1943) Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn

WE WERE DANCING (1942) Norma Shearer and Melvyn Douglas
RIO RITA (1942) Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
STRIKE UP THE BAND (1940) Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland and Paul Whiteman
RANDOM HARVEST (1942) Ronald Colman and Greer Garson
JOHNNY EAGER (1941) Robert Taylor and Lana Turner
HONKY TONK (1941) Clark Gable and Lana Turner
WOMAN OF THE YEAR (1942) Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
I MARRIED AN ANGEL (1942) Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
THE HUCKSTERS (1947) Deborah Kerr and Clark Gable
KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY (1945) Susan Peters, Laraine Day and Lana Turner
LOVE CRAZY (1941) William Powell and Myrna Loy
SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU (1942) Lana Turner and Clark Gable
EASY TO WED (1946) Esther Williams and Van Johnson

Judy Garland

Notorius (1946) Claud Rains, Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant
This is the second of seven short animations I recently created for the commercial free Nickelodeon/Noggin Network. Song written and performed by David Weinstone. Produced for Nickelodeon/Noggin by Mary Jacobson, Jennifer Cast and Matthew Dunteman.

This song has been stuck in my head ever since I began working on this project. When meeting people it takes all of my strength not to burst out singing it. I sing it to myself while shaving at the start of every day.

Through trial and error I discovered that my images pop best with a pure white background. For these I wanted to maintain that pop but also add in another dimension to the backgrounds. I decided to do simple pencil drawings.

This caricature of David Weinstone frames the animations. David says I made his ears too big. You be the judge.

Comic Strip Serenade

Please join us MoCCA Sunday for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear forgotten songs inspired by unforgettable comic strip characters!

For one night only, the fabulous Jalopy theater will host a live performance of vintage compositions based on Krazy Kat, the Katzenjammer Kids, Barney Google, Smokey Stover, Li'l Abner, and more, featuring lyrics by Milt Gross, Rube Goldberg, Walt Kelly, and other cartooning and pop music legends.

These songs are lively (and funny) artifacts from the days before television, when comic strips were the dominant form of daily visual entertainment, and from the days before radio, when new songs -- published as sheet music -- were routinely performed by families and friends in America's living rooms and parlors. Hundreds of songs based on comic strip characters were published during this fertile period, and co-curators Bill Kartalopoulos and Mark Newgarden will present some of the very best -- as well as some of the most wonderfully obscure!

Many of these comic strip songs were never recorded, never filmed, and most have never been publicly performed in the decades since their original publication. The event will also feature some later, post-war songs, including a selection from Broadway's Li'l Abner and Walt Kelly's memorable Pogo songs. The archival sheet music used for this special performance was provided courtesy of Mark Newgarden’s longtime collection.
A stunning line-up of celebrated musicians will bring these unearthed gems back to life, including:

Doug Skinner (The Regard of Flight, White Knuckle Sandwich)
Peter Stampfel (The Holy Modal Rounders, the Bottlecaps, the Fugs)
Meg Reichardt (Les Chauds Lapins, The Roulette Sisters) with Kurt Hoffman (Band of Weeds, Les Chauds Lapins)
Robin Goldwasser & Chris Anderson (The Last Car)
John Keen (Ragtime pianist extraordinaire)

...and many more surprises!
Join us after MoCCA in a relaxing Brooklyn venue for this very special celebration!

Show starts at 9:00 pm
$10 cover
315 Columbia Street Brooklyn, NY
Subway Directions: F or G train to Carroll St. (first car if coming from North/West). Walk 1 block up Smith St to 1st Place. Make left. Walk down past highway to Columbia St. Make left to 315 Columbia.
 This is the first of seven short animations I recently designed. They are currently running on the commercial free Nickelodeon/Noggin Network. Noggin caters to pre-schoolers. The songs are written and performed by David Weinstone. David created Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals.

 I was already familiar with David Weinstone's songs. My kids were big fans when they were little. In fact, they were among the first group of kids to attend David's Music for Aardvark's classes. Here's what Jon Stewart has to say about David's songs, "You will listen to David's music even when your kids aren't around, and unlike other children's music, it will not make you angry."

This was produced for Noggin by the great team of Mary Jacobson, Jennifer Cast and Matthew Dunteman. I'd worked with Matthew several times in the past, including on City Symphony, and he's always a treat. Mary and Jennifer are terrific as well.
The Mets logo was removed from the driver's cap for the final. The Mets just can't catch a break in this Yankees town.

8/14/98 is the date of our daughters' births.
Some people to populate the street.

I took a slew of photographs of Bleecker Street between sixth and seventh avenues as reference for the backgrounds.

John Dewey H.S. Students
By Tsering Dolkar
 We've seen Hanoch Piven's elementary School kids and Gary Taxali's college kids, here are some NYC High School students. They'd love to hear some feedback from you professionals so any comments would be most welcome and appreciated.

"Greetings from John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, NY!  My advanced computer design students created these illustrations with Adobe Photoshop after gaining a great deal of inspiration from looking at Stephen's work. And now Stephen is honoring us by putting the work on his Drawger page. This is a great opportunity for my students to learn about other illustrators.

It is an honor to be in the company of such a prestigious group of professional artists. We appreciate you looking at the work and providing any and all feed back you may want to post."


Martina Hooker
John Dewey High School Computer Art Teacher

By Liridon Gjurra
Click on these two links to see their work. THANKS!

by Nikki Pierre
by Janah Bhuiyan
By Tasnia Rahman
Picasso: Humorous Compositions
Humorous Composition, 11 May 1957 Coloured heliograph with India ink. Barcelona, Museu Picasso
The Picasso show at Gagosian has set me off to evenings spent with my pile of Picasso books. These are scanned from the catalogue for PICASSO EROTIQUE.
 I'll let others argue about whether these works are transformative, fair use, theft or Picasso merely slapping a fresh coat of paint on a fellow artist's work and calling it his own. Me, I'll just enjoy looking at them.
Humorous Composition, 23 May 1957 Coloured heliograph with India ink. Barcelona, Museu Picasso

Humorous Composition, 4 December 1957 Coloured heliograph with India ink. Barcelona, Museu Picasso

Humorous Composition, 8 October 1957 Coloured heliograph with India ink. Barcelona, Museu Picasso
Rethinking Schools cover
 Here's the cover for the latest issue of RETHINKING SCHOOLS. The issue also features artwork by Randall Enos and J D King.

Patrick Flynn was the first AD to publish one my collages. It was of Bobby Sands for the Progressive magazine way back when. We've been working together ever since. This is our latest collaboration.
 The Green School before spring, love and the flowers were in bloom.

More Observer Caricatures
Liza Minnelli---It's Italian, blame it on Poppa, what can I do? I often like to art to the sounds of the musician being depicted. This was done to Liza's recording of Cole Porter's "Looking At You" played over and over and over.

Full Disclosure: I attended a performance by Liza Minnelli at the Allentown Fairgrounds the night President Nixon announced his resignation. What good is sitting alone in your room?

David Byrne. I've been a huge fan of Byrne's work for many years. I have all of the Talking Heads albums, FEAR OF MUSIC being the my favorite but they've all gotten plenty of spins over the years. His collaboration with Brian Eno, MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS was very influential in the development of my work. I'm also grateful to Byrne for taking a chance on me early in my career. He and Frank Olinsky of Manhattan Design selected me to illustrate PSYCHO KILLER for the book WHAT THE SONGS LOOK LIKE: CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS INTERPRET TALKING HEADS SONGS. The book included work by Robert Rauschenberg, Gary Panter, Sue Coe, Jim Nutt, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roz Chast, Barbara Kruger, Tadanoori Yokoo, Edward Ruscha, Victor Moscoso, William Wegamn among many others. Pretty heady stuff for a green kid pretty much fresh from the sticks. I've also followed Byrne's post-heads career as well. He's created a fantastic and inspiring body of work. This piece was done to Byrne and Eno's latest collaboration EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS WILL HAPPEN TODAY.
The President of the United States.

Alec Baldwin

For Students: School Days
Inspired by Scott Bakal's post on the SOI student exhibition and a lot of recent talk on Drawger offering tips and advice to students, I thought I'd post some of my college work here to show how what we do in school may not nescessarily be what we do once we're out in the world.

 These are from long-forgotten class assignments.

Program cover for a school production.

A few caricatures for the school paper. This was for a review of Elvis Costello's ARMED FORCES.

Philip Glass. I went to a in Kutztown PA. Kutztown is about an hour and half form New York. One of the benifits of that was one of the professors would invite emerging artists to come and lecture and/or perform at the school. It was a pretty amazing arry of artists----Steve Reich, Molissa Fenley, Twyla Tharp, Lucinda Childs and Meridith Monk among many others (at least I think that list is correct, it's been a long time). This drawing was probably to promote an upcoming lecture by Glass that I and about ten or twenty other students attended. It was the first time I'd heard Glass' music and I was hooked for life. EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH had already played at the Met but the lps were yet to be released. I think they came out a year or so later. The girl I went with left in the middle of Glass playing the Einstein tape saying, "This music is giving me a headache." I stayed. Our romance never fully recovered.

Captain Beefheart

 I sent all of the above to the Art Director of the Village Voice and got this letter in return. It offered me enough encouragment to leave my happy home and school and make the leap to New York. And, yes, George was among the first art directors to publish my work. He was very generous with his time, support and talent. He also offered me a lot of advice and direction early on. He never published this kind of stuff from though. He did publish many of my early collages.

 Anyway, there are plenty more drawings from back then but that’s enough. You get the idea. This work is nothing like what I was doing even a year or so after moving to New York. It took me about ten more years of drawing and looking and thinking and meeting other artists to find my voice.
Good luck all you art school grads as you step out into the world.

Runner's World
For Marc Kaufman at RUNNER'S WORLD. Marc is great to work wih as any of you who've had a chance to work with him already know. Smart and easy going. Marc also selected the running shoes. Even though I was twice all-state running champion of the Lehigh Valley back in my youth it's been been a long time since then and styles have changed. I made that last bit up. Still, a man can dream can't he?
I like to keep my sketches simple. The basic idea is there but the composition works itself out as material is selected and integrated into the work. Because of its placement on the page, Marc wanted this piece to have a background. We decided to have them running down a street in the 'burbs.
An early pass. The boys running together with Lincoln having hit the wall. The first house was eliminated. Marc wanted to see Washington running away from the pack and up a hill. It was the right decision. I kept seeing the figures in the final as being animated.
Tim O'Brien helped me pick out the running shoe for this image. As many of you know, he's a marathon runner and better versed in these matters. I wanted to use Tim's latest NYC marathon number on the guy but time ran out and I had to turn the piece in before he could get back to me on that.

Armstrong Collages Exhibit
Louis Armstrong Collages at Jazz at Lincoln Center
“My hobbie (one of them anyway),” Louis Armstrong wrote to a friend in 1953, “is using a lot of scotch tape… My hobbie is to pick out different things during what I read and piece them together and make a little story of my own.”

Jazz at Lincoln Center presents a free art exhibition entitled The Collage Aesthetic of Louis Armstrong: "In the Cause of Happiness." The exhibition is open to the public and features large scale images of collages created by Armstrong from clips of photographs, news stories, postcards, letters, telegrams and other materials that Armstrong artfully affixed to the boxes of his vast private collection of audio tapes.
May 2 – September 26, 2009
Peter Jay Sharp Arcade, 5th floor, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street; New York, New York.
The exhibit is FREE and open to the public, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
What Else:
The exhibition coincides with the release of an art book of Armstrong’s collages, Satchmo: The Wonderful World and Art of Louis Armstrong (New York: Abrams, 2009), and an exhibition of a selection of Armstrong’s original collages at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens, entitled A Little Story of My Own: Louis Armstrong’s Collages (open now through July 12, 2009).
For more information about the Louis Armstrong House Museum, visit or call 718-478-8274.
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