Friday, March 15, 2013

The Caricature Art of Robert Grossman



Illustrator, sculptor, comics artist, animator Robert Grossman has had an astounding career covering the last 50 years. To say he's the greatest airbrush artist/caricaturist of all time isn't hyperbole, it's an understatement. Picking just a few samples from his incredible body of work is a near impossible task (he's created over 500 magazine covers alone!) but I'm presenting some of my favorites. If anyone deserves to have a career retrospective/anthology it's Bob Grossman. Check out these beautifully rendered, consistently brilliant and memorable illustrations, most chosen from the 60's-80's. As Steven Heller wrote: "his mordant wit is never duplicated".

Bob is still going strong, turning out wonderful new drawings and comic strips regularly for, among others, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic and the NY Observer where I've been proud to have alternated with him as a regular cover artist for the last 20 years.
http://www.robertgrossman.com/   

thanks to Stephen Kroninger, Peter Kuper, Steven Heller, Jim Engel & Ed Edo Dennis

Robert Grossman was the editor of The Yale Record, and created this parody cover
of The New Yorker

art by RG for MONOCLE (1963)

comic strip for MONOCLE
Curtis LeMay/George Wallace/1966
From EYE magazine/1967
http://drewfriedman.blogspot.com/2011/05/rock-pile.html
LBJ channels "Punch"


Mick Jagger
Ronald Reagan/Rodant

John Lindsay



Tom Jones

Howard Hughes

Mr. Spock

Chrysler chairman Lynn Townsend (Esquire)
various drawings for The Realist...

Tricia Nixon
Sammy Davis, Jr/Richard Nixon


Russian Playmate
Joe Namath
Bob Dylan

 A 1972 Chicago Sun-Times supplement.  The Marx bros are depicted playing "Pinchy-Winchy"-a game they played where you pinched the cheek of the guy next to you (as described in the article (right after mentioning singing "PEASY WEASY")

William Burroughs




Dean Memminger


Milton Berle









George McGovern/Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon/Charles Colson
Nixon & Kennedy


Henry Kissinger
Dick Clark
J. Edgar Hoover
Jimmy Connors
Bobby Riggs



Joe Frazier



Co-author of "Candy" Mason Hoffenberg

Colonel Sanders
Jerry Garcia

http://drewfriedman.blogspot.com/2011/11/robert-grossman-mad-covers.html



John Denver

John Entwistle & Ringo Starr


Gerald Ford

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter/Gerald Ford
Carter/Brezhnev
Jimmy Carter





poster art by Robert Grossman
Children's Book Cover
Joe Paterno
Clark Gable
Marlene Dietrich
Laurel & Hardy
Various Grossman ads...





Earl Scruggs
Julia Child


Steven Spielberg/ET

Jerry Lewis
George Burns


Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown


agent Sue Mengers
Cary Grant

John Lee Hooker
Barbra Striesand
Sigmund Freud on the Tonight Show

1979 poster art by RG





poster art by Bob Grossman



cover art for Donald Westlake novel
Ed Koch
Jackie Gleason/Art Carney


Ronald Reagan, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart


Monica Lewinsky

Robert A. Heinlein
George W. Bush

Barack Obama

Mitt Romney

9 comments:

  1. What a posting. What a remarkable career of killer images. Bob's one of the great ones. His Kissinger as Jiminy Crickett is iconic. Thanks for the effort putting this together, Drew.

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  2. Bob's sculptings are gorgeous portraits. Peter Kaplan has a fantastic Reagan.

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  3. Wow - what a wonderful look at Grossman's oeuvre Drew! Grew up with (especially his Lampoon covers) & always admired his plasticine likenesses. Seemingly 3D without the glasses...

    Richly comprehensive job you've done here too...no one could ever accuse you of stinginess when it comes to posting on an artist ;-)

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  4. Bob was Peter Bergman's roommate at Yale, which is how he ended up doing som uch Firesign Theatre-related artwork over the years. I'm Firesign's archivist, and recently I emailed Bob some snapshots art I collected from his stint at "Los Angeles Times: West" magazine:

    1968-06-02 “Her Son the Vulcan” (Leonard Nimoy) http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/grossmanpics/DSCN6399.JPG

    1968-08-04 “Florida’s Kirk: Ready for the G.O.P.” http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/grossmanpics/DSCN6398.JPG

    1968-12-15 “California is a fadist state” http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/grossmanpics/DSCN6397.JPG

    1969-11-16 “Ol Bob Finch” http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/grossmanpics/DSCN6395.JPG

    1972-01-23 “You Know I Can’t Hear You When The Jets Are Flying” http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/grossmanpics/DSCN6393.JPG

    1972-07-23 Alexis Smith http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/grossmanpics/DSCN6391.JPG

    1972-10-08 “The Last Marx Brothers Movie” http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/grossmanpics/DSCN6390.JPG

    And of course here's Bob's amazing illustration for the back of the recent, massive Firesign radio show book/DVD-ROM compilation "Duke of Madness Motors": http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/grossmanpics/DOMM_book_reverse_Grossman_pic.jpg

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  5. Wow, this blog is great. What a fantastic tribute. Thanks for doing this blog, D. F. I'm a big fan.

    - Michael

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  6. What an exhaustive collection of images. I'm exhausted just looking at them! And to think this is just the tip of the iceberg. Nice job, Robert and Drew!

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  7. would anybody be interested in buy an Laurel & Hardy Charcoal sketch dated 4-81 by Robert Grossman? if so please email me at nmn4eva@yahoo.com i will send picture

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  8. I've always loved Grossman's work. He was an early influence. His comic strip in New York Magazine (wish I could remember the name) was one I loved and found fascinating. And his airbrush skill was incomprehensible to me. Still is, kinda. Thanks for posting these. Not sure how I didn't already know he'd done the Airplane poster. Iconic.

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  9. Via the FB page of Mr. Victor Juhasz, I find this fantastic series of caricatures. Couldn't pick a favorite if I had to. Really fun and tasty art all the way. Great to see all of those Rolling Stone covers again. I think I received all of them in the mail as a very long time subscriber and it was a treat to see every one then and now! Thanks for providing these images.

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