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Laying Pipe

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013

I got a call from Chris Curry at The New Yorker to see if I'd do an illustration to accompany a piece by Ryan Lizza regarding the Keystone Pipeline and the challenges facing Obama as he makes decisions in the coming weeks. The article wasn't written yet but the outline described a long and complicated story of politics, environmentalists, and Big Oil.

For some reason I started thinking about those great Fortune Magazines of the 1930s and the depiction of big industry from posters and other magazines of that era. The article was going to state all sides of the argument over Keystone and I used the image of a small figure facing gigantic industrial forces. Sketch 2 was approved and the final went through without any alterations.

Sometimes with The New Yorker, a full-page illustration gets changed at the last minute to something smaller, so it's a relief to see the full-size printed piece with that distinctive New Yorker typography.