Wednesday, January 6, 2010

David Levine, "the greatest caricaturist of the last half of the 20th Century"

David Levine (December 20, 1926 – December 29, 2009) was an American artist and illustrator best known for his caricatures in The New York Review of Books.

Slowly he was losing his sight...
Gradually, his universe had grown darker and fuzzier. He could no longer see very clearly without strong light and magnification, or rely upon his hand: the lines that had always been his friends, the spare, crisp ones that defined someone's shape, and the elaborate cross-hatchings that gave him soul, he could no longer control. His ophthalmologist had put it bluntly. "Mr. Levine, you don't look your age," he said. "But your eyes do." His diagnosis: macular degeneration. Medications and injections didn't help. Levine worked on, but laboriously. He abandoned pen and ink for pencil, which, as he puts it, "was more forgiving if I made a mistake." But the results were plain enough. For the first time--except for those very few instances when it had been too tart for the publication's taste--the Review rejected his work.

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