Art Spiegelman

Art SpiegelmanArthur Spiegelman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and immigrated to the United States with his parents in his early childhood. Spiegelman studied cartooning in high school and started drawing professionally at age sixteen. Despite his parents wanting him to become a dentist, Art Spiegelman majored in art and philosophy at Harpur College. After leaving college in 1968, he joined the underground comix movement.

The following decade, Spiegelman became a regular contributor to various underground publications, including Real Pulp, Young Lust and Bizarre Sex. Under a variety of pseudonyms like Joe Cutrate, Skeeter Grant and Al Flooglebuckle he drew creations such as 'Ace Hole, Midget Detective', 'Nervous Rex', 'Douglas Comics' and 'Cracking Jokes'. In 1975, he and Bill Griffith co-founded Arcade, an influential comix revue with artists like Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson and Justin Green.

Perhaps his best known tour de force was Maus . 'Maus' was based on the experiences of his parents as concentration-camp survivors. He expanded this premise into a full-blown graphic novel, which he drew from 1980 to 1986, with the Jews presented as mice and the Germans as cats (the Katzies). The book 'Maus: A Survivor's Tale', earned Spiegelman fame. He completed the tale in 1991 with 'Maus II: From Mauschwitz to the Catskills'. Art Spiegelman received the Pullitzer Prize in 1992.


Chiho Aoshima

Chiho Aoshima Debuting in the art scene with no formal art training, Chiho Aoshima’s work transcends traditional techniques of representation.  Aoshima uses computer software to create beautiful and erotic worlds of ghosts, demons, schoolgirls, and exquisite natural landscapes. Her work is printable on any surface; from canvas bags to giant wallpaper installations.  “My work feels like strands of my thoughts that have flown around the universe before coming back to materialize,” Aoshima states. 

Aoshima’s work has garnered international renown with a number of high profile projects.  She collaborated with Issey Miyake in 2003, with her artwork featured in the spring/summer collection. In 2004, she was invited to participate in the 54th Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, where she unveiled her largest wallpaper piece to date, measuring 106 feet (32.5m ) in length by 15 feet (4.8m ) in height.  In May 2005, as part of the Little Boy project, her ecologically-themed “City Glow” and “Paradise” series covered ad spaces throughout the Union Square subway station in New York, greeting commuters as they passed. In a solo show in 2005, Aoshima presented both her first sculptural work and a 5-screen 7-minute animation piece.

With a mastery of computer technology and a vocabulary of images drawn from Japanese comics and animation, the Tokyo artist Chiho Aoshima creates fantasy worlds in which hybridized creatures are participants in the composition's narrative as well as elements in a decorative scheme.

Magma Spirit Explodes. Tsunami Is Dreadful, a mural that spans a 40-foot wall, is a narrative of almost cinematic scope and complexity. Nature and humanity wreak havoc in myriad ways, from tidal waves to fiery conflagrations and war. These disasters, however, have been carefully choreographed; bright flames to the left of the composition give way in effortless transition to volcanic puffs of smoke that are in turn transformed into the blue-green expanse of a tsunami.

At the center of the mural, a giantess presides; she displays the round-eyed prettiness and flowing hair of a stereotypical animé ingénue. Belching smoke and snorting flames, arms and hair tendrils flailing wildly, she is soul and mistress of the mayhem, alluringly beautiful yet terrible in her anger.

Ron English

Ron english One of the most prolific and recognizable artists alive today, Ron English has bombed the global landscape with unforgettable images, on the street, in museums, in movies, books and television. English coined the term POPaganda to describe his signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones, from superhero mythology to totems of art history, populated with his vast and constantly growing arsenal of original characters, including MC Supersized, the obese fast-food mascot featured in the hit movie “Supersize Me,” and Abraham Obama, the fusion of America’s 16th and 44th Presidents, an image widely discussed in the media as directly impacting the 2008 election. Other characters carousing through English’s art, in paintings, billboards, and sculpture include three-eyed rabbits, udderly delicious cowgirls and grinning skulls, blending stunning visuals with the bitingly humorous undertones of America’s Premier Pop Iconoclast.

Andrea Dezso

Andrea dezso I just discovered Andrea Dezso and her fascinating series of works - in tunnel books (paper), strange embroidery, animation, sculpture, drawings, painted journals and sketchbooks. But despite the variation on the medium, there is a wonderful, surrealistic consistency through all her efforts. She creates a new world, not unlike Joseph Cornell, where body parts, girls with moss and mother's sayings from her Transylvania childhood all come into play.

 Tunnel books

Romanian-born Andrea Dezsö, a visual artist and writer, has taught tunnel book workshops at venues including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City and The Museum of Visionary Art in Baltimore, MD. For Slash: Paper Under The Knife, Andrea created an installation consisting of 30 one-of-a-kind tunnel books. Examples of Andrea Dezsö's tunnel books and other work can be seen on her website at www.andreadezso.com.

Andrea Dezsö earned her BFA and MAFA in visual communication at the Hungarian University of Design in Budapest. Following a year of teaching at her alma mater, Dezsö moved to New York, where she exhibited her work in galleries and held teaching positions at Parsons School of Design and the City University of New York. In addition ot solo exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Japan, She has participated in numerous group exhibitions. Her public art projects are found in Budapest and in the New York subway at the Bedford Park Boulevard-Lehman College Station. Dezsö’s illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Time Magazine, Mc Sweeney’s and others. Currently, she is assistant professor of media design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York.


Roz Chast

Ros chast 4Roz Chast is a cartoonist with a wry and urban sense of humor. Her work is seen both in galleries and in the pages of the New Yorker Magazine.

The following is excerpted from Mike Sacks's And Here's the Kicker." (And his book can be ordered by a link below)

How to describe Roz Chast? During an interview with Roz Chast at the 2006 New Yorker Festival, comedian Steve Martin read aloud from one of her cartoons. It was a fictional help-wanted classified, touting the “opportunity of a lifetime.” Among the many absurd qualifications, applicants were expected to have an up-to-date trucker’s license and knowledge of quantum physics. There is so much literature involved,” Martin remarked about this cartoon, and others. “So much writing.”

Chast has always been a master at finding the perfect balance between the literary and the visual. Her cartoons do not depend on funny pictures to sell the joke. But, at the same time, they never seem overcrowded and dense with needless explanation or rambling punch lines. She’s a rarity among her creative brood—a cartoonist whose humor can be appreciated without the drawings.

As with all great writers, she has a fascination with the tiny, seemingly insignificant details that are usually and all too easily ignored. Her cartoons—which have appeared in The New Yorker since 1978—have featured an array of hilarious and over-the-top characters, some of whom bear an uncanny resemblance to her own family members.

But many of Chast’s most famous creations are insentient and not in any way alive, beyond their tendency to mouth off. Chast has devoted entire comics to those items usually relegated to the background and usually ignored—wallpaper, lamps, boxes, electrical cords. She specializes in finding the “inner voice” of these objects—or, as her mother once referred to it, the “conspiracy of the inanimate.” In one late seventies cartoon, she gave a toaster a bow tie, a vase a string of pearls, and dressed a grandfather clock in a skirt and a straw hat. (“You can dress them up,” she wrote in the accompanying caption, “but you can’t take them out.”).

Born and raised in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn in the mid-fifties, Chast did not grow up aspiring to become a professional cartoonist. Even when she began drawing—her first original comic strip, which featured two anthropomorphic birds named Jacky and Blacky, was created at the age of five—it never crossed her mind that she might someday make a living in cartoons. But within only a few months after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design (which she attended with the future members of Talking Heads), Chast was already publishing her work in Christopher Street magazine and The Village Voice, and, still in her twenties, she was invited to join the approximately forty cartoonists under contract with The New Yorker. Today, Chast lives with her two children and husband, humor writer Bill Franzen, in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where she continues to write and illustrate her cartoons, as well as the occasional book.

Roz Chast 1 Roz Chast 2

Roz Chast's art can be found in these books:Books by Roz Chast and And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft