Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Turtle on the Fence Post

A cropped version of this illustration appeared in The New York Times Book Review for March 24, 2002. I made it for William Kennedy’s review of Joe Klein’s book, The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton.

The Book Review gave out a particular photo of Bill Clinton to a number of artists, including Barry Blitt, Henrik Drescher, Peter Blegvad, Philip Burke, Robert Grossman, Thomas Fuchs - maybe others - and me. Each of us was supposed to re-imagine the picture and then our results would be ganged-up on the cover and, it was hoped, evoke what Kennedy described as “the duality, triality, quadrality of Bill Clinton's nature and outlook.”

But I (and maybe some of the others) misunderstood the directive. I think I should have shown Clinton’s whole head and shoulders instead of just a fragment of him. So I wound up making the above piece, but while it missed getting on the cover, it was used inside with the review itself.

My mixed-up medium was colored ink on scratchboard, glued to a scrap of Color-Aid paper.

See my other take on Bill Clinton, here.

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