When the protests started, I headed to Wall Street, where I was confused by a yawning emptiness patrolled by mounted policemen in front of the Stock Exchange. I did finally find a smallish pride of painted protesters around the corner, occupying the miniscule piece of land called Zuccotti Park with their itchy-looking mattress forts, and recycling each other’s hand-painted signs to parade in front of the hundreds of media folk circling the green in search of attractive hippies and homeless veterans to interview. Below are some of the drawings I made that day.
I was going to post drawings of New Yorkers around the city this month, but there has been a lot of talk this week about ocean front communities emerging from the rubble that Sandy left behind last year, so I decided to post these drawings from the Jersey shore instead.
For those who have never been to beautiful, scenic Asbury Park, it is a Gilded Age beach dream nestled within a canyon of desolation along the New Jersey shore. At its heart is a Victorian boardwalk with caroussels and convention halls (imagine Coney Island’s cleaner, fancier cousin), a well-kempt beach, and a bevvy of Mid Century’s finest hotel architecture. I visited this gem two summers ago to document a show at the Stone Pony, and did some sketches in the sweltering heat before the concert.
Clockwise from top: Boardwalk, Casino, Convention Center
I have an extensive archive of drawings I’ve made in and around New York City, and which I will share over the next couple of days; the first set are a series of sketches I made at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, where the eccentric visitors were at least as eye catching as the garments and paintings.
“I’d wear that.” (overheard at the Sonia Delaunay exhibit in New York City)
Once again I managed to brave the heat to make it out to Coney “no shade in sight” Island to draw Nathan’s annual Independence Day tradition, the hotdog eating contest, except this time, I had backstage passes, aka a better view to draw from. Why? Because my friend Yasir “Doggybag” Salem had finally qualified for the event, and was on stage with the likes of Joey Chestnut and Eater X. All drawings seen here were done in real time on location, and colored in later using Photoshop.
Top: The line-up of hungry hopefuls; above left: Yasir “Doggybag” Salem in the same gear he would wear three days later when competing in the NYC triathlon; above right: Despite tiaras and false eyelashes, the women’s competition was just as ugly as the men’s, and bottom right: Winner Joey Chestnut & runner-up (in festive American flag thong)
I try to make it to at least one free play in Central Park every summer, and this year I decided to join some friends to check out New York Classical Theater‘s plein-air production of Moliere’s super-entertaining 17th century Vaudevillian slapstick classic TheSchool for husbands. Central Park becomes both stage and auditorium for these productions, and the audience follows the actors as they move from scene to scene, and sometimes the action simultaneously takes place in front of and behind the spectators. This is a neat way of keeping everyone engaged, though at an hour it is a mighty quick and high energy production anyway. The following illustrations were all done on location.
Despite thunderstorms earlier that day I found myself seated in the heart of Times Square to attend the premiere of Mad Men season four, an hour ahead of the rest of the country. I was later upgraded from puddle-seat to VIP area (admittedly way comfier than the wet bleachers (thank you V!). The majority of the drawings were done during the pre-show costume contest, and my personal highlight was seeing the “falling man” intro of the show at the bottom of Times Square signage canyon.