Don’t be alarmed by the header. I’ll get to the robbery part in a minute…
Visiting New York is always a fun time. When you are from quiet and pleasant Minnesota, the hectic craziness of New York is always like drinking a triple expresso… a total rush for a while, followed by a crash and a headache. I can handle about four days in NYC before I am on overload. Those four days are a blast, though!
Today we swung by the MAD offices to hang out and bum a free lunch. The editors and art staff at MAD are always really good at pretending they like me, and that makes it pleasant to visit. Recently MAD moved from the fifth floor to the fourth floor of the 1700 Broadway building, and I had not seen the new offices. They are smaller but they have some nice displays of originals and other goodies. They also started a ‘Wall of Shame” for contributors to draw on, and I added a little doodle to it. Here’s a few pictures from the visit:
My kids Victoria, Tommy and Gabrielle in the MAD conference room.
Original Norman Mingo painting, including the
definitive Alfred painting from issue #29
MAD’s hard(ly) working art dept! From left: Sam Viviano,
Ryan Flanders and Doug Thompson
Now for the part about being robbed. We are staying right in Times Square, and spend a lot of time seeing shows and walking around the area. There are a lot of street vendors here selling everything from bad knock-off handbags (the good knock-offs are on Canal St. in SoHo) to cheap knick-knacks and awful photo prints. There are a number of street artists as well, including caricaturists. They are all over the streets, but on 42nd St. between Broadway and 8th is a concentrated number of caricaturists and portrait artists (I have to give props to MAD editor Charlie Kadau for informing me of this). I love going down there and looking at the different artist’s displays of “samples”… not because they are any good, but because the majority of them are prints of other artist’s work ripped off from the internet. Anna and I walked down there tonight, which was bad timing because Broadway is “dark” on Mondays (no musicals or shows) so there were fewer artists on the street than usual. Still, I was not disappointed. I saw lots of rip-offs of Kruger and Jan Op de Beeck, and one or two of colleagues of mine like Joe Bluhm and others. I spotted the following two of mine:
My Marilyn Monroe. Nice print job!
My Will Smith PhotoShopped onto a cheesy lollypop body
I’ll go back tomorrow night and see if more are up. I didn’t confront the artist… no point. These guys are trying to earn a few bucks, and this kind of thing happens all the time. I’ve always said nobody gets anywhere in life doing that kind of thing, it’s bad karma. Beside, only an idiot would look at the multitude of vastly different drawing styles on a display board and then at the actual drawing the artist is working on and think that artist did those samples… but then again there is no shortage of idiots walking around Times Square.
This last one is a riot. I walked past one artist who’s display samples were mainly prints of Jan Op de Beeck’s work. Generally these guys pick celebrity faces to display, but his guy got at least one image from Jan’s website page containing his drawings of other caricaturists. This is a drawing of Orlando artist and former NCN president Keelan Parham, on display in the heart of Times Square!
Keelan and his family were actually planning on joining us in NYC until personal plans got in the way. It would have been hilarious if we all would have walked up together and he would have seen his own face staring back at him from some artist’s display board! Maybe next time…
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