Barry Blitt

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Barry Blitt
Born(1958-04-30) April 30, 1958 (age 55)
Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec, Canada
Fieldillustration, Cartoonist
TrainingOntario College of Art and Design
 
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Barry Blitt
Born(1958-04-30) April 30, 1958 (age 55)
Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec, Canada
Fieldillustration, Cartoonist
TrainingOntario College of Art and Design

Barry Blitt (born April 30, 1958 in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec) is a Canadian-born American artist.

Barry Blitt is a cartoonist and illustrator, best known for his New Yorker covers and as a regular contributor to the op-ed page of the New York Times. Blitt creates his works in traditional pen and ink, as well as watercolors.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Blitt grew up in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec, a municipality on the Island of Montreal.[1] The artist's first publication credit came at age 16: a series of drawings in the Philadelphia Flyers 1974 yearbook.[2] He graduated from The Ontario College of Art and Design and moved to the US in 1989.[3]

Work[edit]

Blitt’s illustration work has been featured by publications such as The New Yorker,[4] Vanity Fair,[5] Rolling Stone, The Atlantic and others.[6]

The artist is also well known for illustrating Frank Rich’s Sunday op-ed column in the New York Times.[6] Regarding that work, Rich is quoted as saying, "It’s a long-distance collaboration — me in New York City, Barry in Connecticut — but one of the most satisfying I’ve had in my career."[2]

Many of Blitt's New Yorker covers have been finalists for the Cover of the Year from the American Society of Magazine Editors, including, in 2008, Narrow Stance and I'll Get It!,First Anniversary in 2010, and The Book of Life in 2012.[4]

Blitt is also credited with animation design by Saturday Night Live [7]

Children's Book Illustrator[edit]

Book Illustrator[edit]

Book Cover Art[edit]

Awards & Honors[edit]

Controversy[edit]

Blitt's 2008 New Yorker cover titled The Politics of Fear, depicting Michelle and Barack Obama standing in the Oval Office was labeled "tasteless and offensive" by Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton. A campaign spokesman for Senator John McCain also condemned the art.[13] In the cover art, Obama is shown wearing traditional Muslim clothes, including —sandals, robe and turban. — His wife, Michelle is— shown dressed in camouflage, combat boots and has an assault rifle over her shoulder. Behind them, an American flag is burning in the fireplace.[14]

The controversial art was covered by numerous media outlets including the Los Angeles Times,[15] PBS [13] and others. In defense of the art, Eric Bates of Rolling Stone was quoted as saying "...I don't think it (The New Yorker) crossed the line. I would question whether there's much of a line to be crossed. I think their intent was clear, but I think it's clear from the response that a lot of people didn't get the joke.".[13] The New York Times called it the most memorable image of the 2008 presidential campaign, and Françoise Mouly, the Art Editor of the New Yorker, said she was "extremely proud" of the piece.[16] Regarding the controversy, Blitt was quoted as saying "Anytime I produce a cover, I always regret it afterward"." [17]

The cover art was parodied later the same year by Entertainment Weekly, with a photograph by Jake Chessum featuring Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.[18]

In spite of the controversy and condemnation by the Obama campaign, after taking office President Barack Obama chose one of Blitt’s New Yorker covers to hang in the White House. The Dec. 8, 2008 cover depicts the President picking the family dog at the same time as he is vetting candidates for his national security cabinet.[3] Additionally, President Obama requested and received a signed New Yorker cover by the artist, which depicts the President walking on water.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Blitt currently resides in Connecticut[6] His younger brother, Ricky Blitt, is a screenwriter, based in West Hollywood, California.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Owen, Rob (April 19, 2010). "Love for Penguins behind city's setting for 'Romantically Challenged'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Ashley Walters (2009). "Ryerson Review of Journalism". 
  3. ^ a b Wendy Carlson. "Town Vibe: Cover Boy". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "New Yorker Contributors". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Vanity Fair Contributors". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Art Directors Club". Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "IMDb - Barry Blitt". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "Simon & Schuster". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Random House Authors". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Book by Jim Mullen". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Abrams Publishing". Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "American Society of Magazine Editors 2006 winners-finalists". Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c "PBS Newshour". 14 July 2008. 
  14. ^ "Huffington Post". 07/21/08. 
  15. ^ "Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Francoise Mouly Discusses The Cultural Impact New Yorker Cartoons". 09/06/11. 
  17. ^ "NPR Books". February 20, 2012. 
  18. ^ Gary Susman (2008-09-25). "'Entertainment Weekly Pop watch". 
  19. ^ Josh Klenert (2010-06-27). "Society of Publication Designers". 

External links[edit]