Saul Survivor

This week’s New Yorker has a story by Roger Angell about the Red Sox winning the World Series. The accompanying illustration is a colored-pencil drawing of a fanciful, physics-defying ballpark. As the work of Saul Steinberg goes, I actually like this piece. And the fact that Steinberg has been dead for five years doesn’t change how I feel about the drawing–at least that fact on its own doesn’t.

But the late Saul Steinberg may very well be the most frequent contributor to the New Yorker. A couple of weeks ago, he even had a drawing on the cover. Some of these primitivist drawings work for me; some don’t. But I’m sick of seeing them.

Steinberg is probably most famous for a cover drawing he did, with Manhattan in the foreground, and everything east of the Hudson river reduced to insignificant specks. While that may accurately reflect my worldview, I don’t think it’s grounds for continuing to run the man’s works approximately every two weeks. And I don’t think I’m exaggerating. I find more of the drawings downright bad than good enough to be running in the country’s best magazine.

So to the art department of the New Yorker: let’s give some living artists a try. I know there are some good ones out there.

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