Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lunch with Jon Burgerman

As is our habit, when illustrators come to New York we like to invite them over to the studio for lunch. Many times this doesn't happen, they're only here for a short time so I'll come into the city. But Jon Burgerman is a special case, he's here for the summer so lunch at the studio could be more leisurely for everyone.

Luckily we had prepared a lunch of salad and risotto balls followed by homemade pineapple sorbet as we learned as we sat down that Jon is a vegetarian. And that's not all we learned, Jon is a world traveller, sometimes flying in for a day at a time in some exotic locale to do one of his wall paintings and then back home. We found out that he uses, not a Sharpie but a Japanese pen that actually spits out a substance closer to paint than ink; that way he is able to fill in areas and maintain the same flat surface and texture. We learned that he's in the process of moving, well, kinda. He hasn't made up his mind exactly where but feels like he's stuck and needs to make a move--not that all that traveling hasn't given him lots of choices, including New York.

Looking and listening to Jon reminded several of us of the actor Clive Owen, close your eyes and you hear his voice, remove the beard and you'll have a very young looking Owen. Clive, I mean Jon, moves in different circles than most illustrators, he is more at home with street artists and gallery artists than hanging with fellow illustrators at the Society or AOI. And he's gone solo, after a period with a rep firm here in New York he now fields all his work on his own--he does have a UK rep, Debut--and tends toward more specialized projects that utilize his work more perfectly. A constant namedropper--a good thing--we were busy looking up artists we weren't familiar with after he left. A good time was had by all.

Feeling badly that he'd missed a previously scheduled lunch in February he left us all with a ton of stickers that he always carries with him in his rucksack. He's got a book-signing this weekend at Kid Robot and a show coming up in August. Just look for that Clive Owen look alike.