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Marc Burckhardt
Art of the Economy
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Recently, Soojin Buzelli called with a project for a new publication she's art directing called ai5000, an online magazine. The piece, written by William Cohan, is about the collapse of Bear Stearns, and in it he describes the high stakes and even higher levels of arrogance that brought about the implosion of one of Wall Street's biggest players.  Cohan, an award winning investigative newspaper reporter who also worked in some of the biggest firms on Wall Street, is the author of "House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street". Cards were a particularly significant symbol in this case, as many of the key players in Bear Stearns were obsessed with the card game Bridge—some even rising within the ranks based on their skill at the game rather than their diligence at overseeing the investment bank's dealings. It was a fascinating look behind the curtain, and how arrogance trumped common sense to bring down one of the pillars of Wall Street. The issue is filled with great art by fellow Drawgers Tim Bower, John Cuneo, Tim O'Brien, Zina Saunders, Yuko Shimizu, Jeffrey Smith, and Brian Stauffer, as well as a beautiful cover Chris Buzelli.
Another recent project, a European edition cover story for AD Adolfo Valle at Newsweek, also deals with the fallout of the economic crisis, but from a decidedly different perspective: the entertainment industry. It seems the general public is flocking to light-hearted comedies, mystery books, and other forms of escape from their everyday woes, and it's turned into a boom for entertainment. Not unlike the Great Depression, when the "Penny Arcade" was an escape for millions, the public's loss is Hollywood's gain. The type is all hand illustrated. Again, Drawger was well-represeted in the isue, with work by Alex Nabaum, Chirs Buzelli, and Harry Campbell.
Finally, this piece, done as a personal work following the initial collapse of the stock market last Fall, is featured in this month's "Gallery" section of Atlantic Monthly. AD Jason Treat has featured some wonderful work there since its inception, including art by Drawgerites Yuko Shimizu, Felix Sockwell, and Thomas Fuchs. It's great to have smart and open ADs like Jason, Soojin, and Adolfo out there using illustration in ways that show its communicative strengths.
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Burckhardt is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!