|My cover to the caricaturist's quarterly (originally the cover art|
for "The Wicked Wit of the West" by Irving Brecher)
This convention is unique, in that that it's a "working convention", the caricaturists sit in the large pavilion and draw (mainly each other) throughout the duration of the convention, their results finally displayed for competition, the winners announced at the awards banquet on the final night.
I provided the keynote visual address for the convention :"Old Jewish Comedians and me", as well as a second visual presentation; "Adventures and misadventures", detailing my career high points and low points, and all points in between (making sure there were no children in attendance). The most enjoyable part of the convention for me (aside from the sun, and the beach, and the pool, and the food, and the...) was getting to meet so many talented artists, watching them work and witnessing their amazing results. My thanks again to everyone at ISCA (International Society of Caricature Artists) for being so kind to my wife and I.
Next years guest speaker, the great John Kascht.
|The beautiful Tradewinds resort at St. Pete's Beach (free plug! I expect a room upgrade next time)|
|the always dapper Brit, Steve Hearn, the president of ISCA (with his gorgeous Florida suntan), me, and artist Brent Brown|
|Steve Hearn by Court Jones|
|preparing to begin my keynote presentation. My projected name helped to remind me of exactly who I was.|
... people no one would think to draw or pay tribute to.
I like to think when comedians aren’t Jewish, if they’re really funny, they should be Jewish. There's a story of George Burns and Groucho sitting together, enjoying Bill Cosby doing a routine on TV. At one point Burns turns to Groucho and says "Too bad he's not Jewish". There’s a guy in my new book, Stan Freberg. Turns out he’s not Jewish. I made a mistake, should have researched a little more. I assumed he was Jewish because his name was "Freberg". Who knew? My excuse was he's so brilliant, clever and funny, I just naturally assumed he was Jewish.
I drew Sinatra for a New York Observer tribute to him by Peter Bogdanovich and Gay Talese the weekend after he died. He died on a Friday, so I worked on Saturday and Sunday with his music playing in the background. I love Frank Sinatra, but I wasn’t in tears, yet it was very emotional to work on that piece. I wanted to capture his cockiness and also his sensitivity. That’s one aspect I love about him and his music – he can convey being cocky almost at the same time as being sensitive. I wanted the portrait to somehow portray that. The tilt of the hat, the raised shoulder, the drink and cigarette, conveys the famous Sinatra arrogance. Then the uncertainty of the hand in pocket – a little bit of insecurity there, the other lowered shoulder, and the "please like me" expression hopefully conveying the other side.
There are certain celebrities who, any time they’re drawn, they’ll purchase the piece. Obviously many if not all have large egos. I've heard the comedian Richard Lewis has one room in his home filled with drawings and paintings of himself.
A story I love concerns Al Hirschfeld and Liberace. Hirschfeld did a cover for Collier's magazine of Liberace in the mid-50’s – a beautiful color painting of him sitting at the piano beaming at the reader. So Liberace’s people first contacted Colliers to obtain the art, who informed them the art was returned to Mr. Hirschfeld. They then contacted Hirschfeld and pronounced: "Liberace has collected paintings of himself created by many of the world's GREAT artists, all of whom had requested no compensation, but he also loves your piece and asks that you to send it to him to hang in his home". Al responded: “Why certainly, I’ll send my painting of Liberace for him to hang on his wall alongside the work created by all the great art titans, and in return I would like you to send me Liberace, so I can hang him on my wall.” (laughter)
|Liberace by Hirschfeld|
|Talking about drawing Howard Stern with artist Glenn Ferguson|
|Some of the caricatures created at the convention, on display and ready to be voted on.|
|with the legend; Dave "Bippy" Boyer|
|Famed caricaturist and MAD regular Tom Richmond was on hand to conduct a poolside drawing seminar. Tom's new book is terrific and essential for anyone who is interested in becoming a caricaturist professionally or just for fun...|
|This was my first runner up, drawn by Dan Almariei|
|and my pick for best in show, by 23 year old Marcus Sakoda, a caricature of a fellow conventioneer (OK, I like profiles)|
|The awards banquet on the final night. The food wasn't bad either!|
|and a final view from our room (photo by my wife Kathy)|