Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ronald Searle did all that!

I landed my first job because of my handwriting. The vice-president of the music publishing company that hired the 17 year old me called me in for my first interview because of my handwriting. He made a point of saying so. Later, the president of the same company said
"Your handwriting looks like Ronald Searle."
I'd been rifling through my parents' New Yorkers for years, cutting out drawings, ripping off covers. I knew who Ronald Searle was and what his drawings looked like but suddenly started paying closer attention. My handwriting looked like him!

One December day in 1996, I was freezing my ass off at the Munich Christmas Market and happened on a sign for a Ronald Searle retrospective at the Munchner Stadtmuseum. I stopped what I was doing and headed straight for the museum where I spent the rest of the day. It was the best retrospective I have ever seen.

What I remember most are Searle's childhood drawings laid out in vitrines. A large cartoon of Searle drawing Francis Bacon painting Velasquez painting Pope Innocent X. Awesome. I wish I could find a copy to post here. Pigs eating at a dining table with humans hung up curing in the smokehouse in background. His prisoner of war drawings.

In this rare interview, Ronald Searle asks, "Did I do all that?"

Thank you, Ronald Searle, for doing all that!

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