Saul Steinberg at play
Falling in and out of love with a hero
One of the turning points in my young artistic life was seeing a show of Saul Steinberg’s on my honeymoon in 2007. The cartoonist called himself a “writer who draws,” a title I promptly stole from him, as that’s exactly what I wanted to be. I bought the Illuminations show catalog and started researching his work. I found out he was a Romanian Gemini (his birthday is the day before mine) and he used to hang out with Kurt Vonnegut, who called him “the wisest person I ever met in my entire life.” Here was a guy I felt I needed in my family tree. (You can trace my obsession and see a bunch of his work through my Tumblr tag.)
Even if you don’t know Steinberg, you’ve probably seen his famous drawing, View of the World from 9th Avenue. He had a long, fruitful career with The New Yorker, and the collection Steinberg at the New Yorker is probably the best overall place to get an introduction to his work. He can be a tough artist to get one’s head around at first because he worked for so long and in so many styles.