GWIZ ‘CLASSIC’ CARICATURES
Here are various caricature portraits i’ve done over the years. Most were done in the 80’s during my time working as an illustrator for my portfolio and have never been published. One gimmick I had used to get noticed by art directors was including celebrity autographs with my illustrations. I’d take whatever opportunity I had meeting my favorites at book signings, or where ever I found out they’d be appearing on a given day, do the art, and give it to them to have them sign the photostat for my portfolio. Everyone from Eddie Murphy to Walter Cronkite had signed portraits in my portfolio. It gave the editors & art directors something to talk about and remember when I was hitting the pavement looking for jobs.
I met Buddy Rich after he did a free concert in central park. Buddy’s son-in-law, Drummer Steve Arnold & I had worked together in a band once, and he was always very cool with me. So Steve took me onto Buddy’s tour bus so I could give him this portrait.
All I could think of were those classic tapes of Buddy chewing out some kid in his band on that bus…So I didn’t know what to expect when I showed him this cartoon.
However, Buddy loved it, and said ‘Now THIS is what i’m talking about!’ and signed this copy for me.
Man, Rodney Dangerfield was one of my all time comedy heros! I don’t ever recall seeing him do an ‘off night’ on the old tonight shows. I met him doing a book signing somewhere in town, and gave him this portrait. He signed a copy for me saying, ‘Thank you for this lovely thing you did here’. Comedy will never be the same without him.
We lost another one of my comedy heroes in 2014. The legendary Sid Ceasar! I met Sid Ceasar in 1983 at the Museum of broadcasting where I gave him this caricature, and he signed a copy for my portfolio. He was as nice as he was brilliant… And we shared the same birthday too.
Liberace was doing a promotional appearance at Macy’s when I gave him the original of this caricature. He was also very cool, and told me ‘I wish my brother George were here!’…Just kidding! He didn’t say that…I just loved that Bugs Bunny impression of him.
What Liberace DID tell me was that he was going to put my art in his museum which he was about to open in Las Vegas. I’ve been to vegas several times since then, but never had time to visit the Liberace museum to see if this illustration I did of him was ever on display there. Hopefully, one of these days I’ll find out.
I went down to the Blue Note to see Stanley Clarke, Lenny White & Patrice Rushen. After the hit, we hung for a bit in their dressing room, & Lenny reminds me of a cartoon portrait I had done of him, Stanley, Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, and Joe Henderson for their Griffith Park Group project back in the 80’s.
He asked me to bring the illustration with me on friday so Stanley could see it.
So I made up a few copies to give to them & had Lenny & Stanley sign a copy for me to post on my page here. About a year later, Chick Corea added his signature. I did have an old copy that someone gave to Freddie Hubbard to sign for me. Freddie sent it back to me signed, ‘To Gene, NO THANKS!!’
You can’t please everyone.
Legendary newsman, Walter Cronkite graciously accepted the original art when I met him at a book signing in NY & signed this copy for me. Several photographers even took pictures of us with Mr. Cronkite holding the caricature. He was a class act!
An unpublished portfolio piece of ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson leading a pack some of the big pop stars of the 80’s including; Mick Jagger, John Cougar, Stevie Nicks, Men at Work, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Rick Springfeild, Linda Ronstadt, Sting, David Byrne Lionel Ritchie & Pat Benetar
An unpublished portfolio piece of the cast of the original Star Trek Television series.