All the Art That's Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn't): Inside The New York Times Op-Ed Page
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All the Art That's Fit to Print reveals the true story of the world's first Op-Ed page, a public platform that―in 1970―prefigured the Internet blogosphere. Not only did the New York Times's nonstaff bylines shatter tradition, but the pictures were revolutionary. Unlike anything ever seen in a newspaper, Op-Ed art became a globally influential idiom that reached beyond narrative for metaphor and changed illustration's very purpose and potential.
Jerelle Kraus, whose thirteen-year tenure as Op-Ed art director far exceeds that of any other art director or editor, unveils a riveting account of working at the Times. Her insider anecdotes include the reasons why artist Saul Steinberg hated the Times, why editor Howell Raines stopped the presses to kill a feature by Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, and why reporter Syd Schanburg—whose story was told in the movie The Killing Fields—stated that he would travel anywhere to see Kissinger hanged, as well as Kraus's tale of surviving two and a half hours alone with the dethroned peerless outlaw, Richard Nixon.
All the Art features a satiric portrayal of John McCain, a classic cartoon of Barack Obama by Jules Feiffer, and a drawing of Hillary Clinton and Obama by Barry Blitt. But when Frank Rich wrote a column discussing Hillary Clinton exclusively, the Times refused to allow Blitt to portray her. Nearly any notion is palatable in prose, yet editors perceive pictures as a far greater threat. Confucius underestimated the number of words an image is worth; the thousand-fold power of a picture is also its curse.
Op-Ed's subject is the world, and its illustrations are created by the world's finest graphic artists. The 142 artists whose work appears in this book hail from thirty nations and five continents, and their 324 pictures-gleaned from a total of 30,000-reflect artists' common drive to communicate their creative visions and to stir our vibrant cultural-political pot.
divisiveness on abortion (Rejected) Milton Glaser, Intergalactic love (Rejected) Ronald Searle, “Summer Poems” (Rejected) Janusz Kapusta, Consequences of Oslo agreements (Diminished) Seth Tobocman, Nigerian oil embargo: idea sketches Goran Delic´ , Tariffs on Japanese luxury cars (Diminished) Bob Gale, Mentally ill movie protagonist (Rejected) Warren Linn, Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan (Rejected) Istvan Banyai, Berkeley admissions proposal (Rejected) Istvan Banyai, Hollywood
an art director puts into a winning pitch. “The toughest part is selling images to the editor,” says illustrator Brian Cronin. And while the art director pleads their cases, artists shuffle to the tune of what illustrator Henrik Drescher calls the “sketch-approval limbo dance.” Once, while showing a drawing by Douglas Florian, an editor said, “That’s ugly.” “In this case,” I replied, “ugly is beautiful,” and continued to defend the image. Florian was outside the door and heard our argument. “I’m
Times—they thrive like Triffids. In a mere four decades, they have explained the meaning of life in pictures and, what’s more, have taken on a hideous life of their own. They are insatiable! And they are coming YOUR way!!! All the Art expresses the imaginations of 142 international picture makers, dream spinners, and visual philosophers who have taken the printed word by the scruff of the neck—gently mind!—and enabled the writers and their readers to see for themselves just what it was that they
aren’t my words,” Coover told the editor. “That’s a quote from the Nobel laureate.” Coover’s homage to Beckett was published in New American Review. The Times tells the world what is doing; Who’s winning, who’s losing, who’s suing. Who’s striking, who’s stealing, Who’s dying, who’s healing. But won’t say a word on who’s screwing. Harold Evans, former editor of the Times of London, states that the New York paper’s “integrity is unsurpassed, . . . [that] the Times [is] . . . nothing less than an
function of a free press. I ran a piece by Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and another by someone I hated—Nixon’s vice president, the dreadful Spiro Agnew. We also got pieces from Arthur Miller, E. B. White, Arthur Schlesinger, and Philip Roth. It was a way of getting the germ of my idea into the paper.” Oakes and Dryfoos walked to work together from Manhattan’s Upper East Side. One morning, Oakes spelled out his Op-Ed proposal to the new publisher. “It’s a good idea,” Dryfoos observed, “but the