Cat Alley

Anthony Williams asked me to paint a section of the Cat Alley wall, off Elm Street and between Lala’s Hungarian Pastry & Restaurant and the former Chair Gallery in Manchester NH.

Tony hasn’t seen much of my work, and frankly even if he did he’d not have a good idea of what my piece would look like. Even I didn’t, until I sat down to sketch. Excerpts from The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons (1983 edition);

“The Fatal Mistake” by A. B. Frost, 1884

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“Love Story”, Alexandre Steinlen, ~1885

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Anton, (c) Lilliput circa 1940?

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Cat Alley 07/2011

The point being, from these diverse influences I came up with a nice little image that took me about 8 hours to complete, primer to signature. It looks nothing like the octopus drawings I’ve been doing lately, or the voyeur boxes, or much else. Maybe like some acrylic paintings I did a decade and a half ago.

. . .

One of the things that rubbed me the wrong way in college was the insistence that us young illustrators develop a singular style.  While I understand the intent, I had Art Spiegelman, Milton Glaser, and numerous other artists with multifaceted styles and techniques. Much as I’ve gone through my Marshall Arisman and even Patrick Nagel phases, why stifle yourself? Let the context define the style. Work with what you got. Draw for pleasure. Tell the message with whatever language gets the point across to the best of your ability.

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