Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Memory of Don Ivan Punchatz

Art for Survival: The Illustrator and the Environment

I had not heard of this book before or the artists whose work is featured in it. I feel rather foolish for not knowing who these people are, but it's never too late to gain more knowledge, right?

I came to know of this book through an email I received from FWCanDo. Below is the email contents:

"Don Ivan Punchatz, died October 22, 2009, Don was an eminent and award winning American illustrator as well as adjunct professor of graphic design at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX."

The email continued to regal of Don Punchatz and his work. In the email was an illustration created by Mr. Punchatz. It is titled, America The Raped. I saw the entire image at once. My eyes welled up and burned a little. I wanted to immediately grab it and post it, but knew I couldn't. Instead, I shared it with my daughter, Annie. I only showed her the upper portion first, of the skeleton propped behind a menacing bulldozer with the city landscape of freeways and suspension bridges. Very dark, rather like a Tim Burton film, lots of greys and blacks and a sense of foreboding. The skeleton wears a red hard hat, similar to the red you may have remembered seeing in the movie, Schindler's List, while noxious smoke pours from the exhaust high above the big machine.

I scrolled down slowly and purposefully revealing the sky beneath the machine and in front of the sky trapped animals, some turned upside down, some looking as if to escape, tumbled in with dark grass and pretty colorful wildflowers. "Oh, momma..." "I know, baby." And then we hugged each other.


Anonymous said...

My father would be so proud that this painting still touches people today as it did 30+ years ago.


Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Greg, yes, touched us it did.

Anonymous said...

I sent away for the poster when I was 11 years old. My mom was horrified and told me is was "disturbing". She never made me take it down, though. Little did I know it was the ONE thing that would shape my life, and the job I do today.