Mr. Tilley If You’re NASTY

Original  Eustace Tilley 1925 Cover

Original Eustace Tilley 1925 Cover

The New Yorker is known for its covers. Without resorting to a rotating list of celebrities, the magazine has become iconic for it’s brilliant drawings, often with tongue-in-cheek references to current events. The one recurring figure (besides New York) is Eustace Tilley. The dandyish character (kind of yesteryear’s metrosexual) first appeared in 1925 and is featured every year on the magazine’s anniversary cover. Over time, the New Yorker has allowed for several interpretations of Eustace Tilley to be depicted on the cover. And it fits, because New Yorkers are anything but a monolith. They may be cultured or self absorbed or snobby or downright NASTY.

This year, for the 90th anniversary, Mr. Tilley is showing up in multiple personalities like only a New Yorker could. Nine artists were chosen to present their interpreation of Eustace Tilley. The artists given the honor of altering everyone’s favorite dandy are: Kadir Nelson, Carter Goodrich, Anita Kunz, Roz Chast, Barry Blitt, Istvan Banyai, Lorenzo Mattotti, Peter Mendelsund, and Christoph Niemann. And it only fits.

Check the gallery below for the covers. All images taken from the New Yorker website.

Hunger Games



If you are a punk (aka me), then The Hunger Games was terrifying. The dystopian world, the mocking jays, the fight to the death- all of it is a little too gruesome. So imagine the shock of avoiding the book, the movies, all the promotion, and then running into its artwork at the Museum of Metropolitan Art.



Animals, Rufino Tamayo

Animals,Rufino Tamayo,1941

Really is Animals not reminiscent of the eery description of the mutant dogs in the book? This Hunger Games Wiki made by morbid super fans goes into great detail about all the eery mutated animals. To quote:

These creatures were able to balance on their hind legs, jump very high, and had four-inch long razor-sharp claws. Each of the mutts resembled one of the tributes who had died previously in the Games, had a collar marked with the district number of the tribute it was based on, and had eyes that looked remarkably human.


"Collective Suicide", David Alfaro Siqueiros

Collective Suicide, David Alfaro Siqueiros, 1936

It’s hard to say whether or not this David Alfaro Siqueiros piece looks more like the devastation of District 12 itself or like the world of the games once they start in the Capitol. Make your own determination based on the MOMA’s text.  I’ll go with the Capitol:

Collective Suicide is an apocalyptic vision of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Siqueiros shows armored Spanish troops advancing on horseback, a bowed captive staggering before them in chains. The broken statue of a god demonstrates the ruin of the indigenous culture. Chichimec Indians, separated from their tormentors by a churning pit, slaughter their own children, hang themselves, stab themselves with spears, or hurl themselves from cliffs rather than submit to slavery.

Both pieces are currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in Painting and Sculpture I, which is currently featuring an awesome selection of Latin American art.

Seriously, I skimmed this book, and I just can’t read of watch it…too freaky. How did they play this on ABC? Better yet, how do they teach this in schools?


Speaking of People

Johnson Publishing Company was founded in 1942 by John H. Johnson and started with the publication of the Negro Digest. Eventually, the company would publish their flagship publications, Ebony and Jet.

Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet, and Contemporary Art is currently an exhibit at the Studio Museum of Harlem that features art informed by the information in these pages.  The title of the exhibit gets its name from a monthly feature in Ebony Magazine where updates on prominent African Americans were featured. The catalogue for the exhibit features essays by prominent artists.   Artists featured in the exhibit include Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Lyle Ashton Harris,  Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Ayanah Moor, Lorna Simpson, Martine Syms, Hank Willis Thomas, and  Mickalene Thomas.

Recent news that Johnson Publishing Company is selling it’s photo archives, makes the exhibit even more resonant.

Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet, and Contemporary Art is on display at the Studio Museum of Harlem through March 8, 2015.