Stephen Kroninger
2776: Comedy Album!

Patton Oswalt, Aubrey Plaza, Eugene Mirman, Ira Glass, Will Forte, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Aimee Mann and 80 other comics, musicians and actors join forces for the new album 2776. 26 visual artists from around the world have created unique covers for each of the tracks on the album. 2776 is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and CDBaby.
It's all to benefit the charity One Kid One World, which builds schools in impoverished parts of Kenya and El Salvador.
SEE! More art from a wide variety of artists and illustrators

SOI's Stevan Dohanos Award

 I'm extremely honored to be the recipient of this year's Stevan Dohanos award for "Grand Central" in the Society of Illustrators annual members exhibit. The theme is "Illustrating Our (New York City) Landmarks" and includes works by nearly seventy of illustration's top artists.  A special thanks to jury members Leslie Cober-Gentry, Kate Feirtag, Nathan Fox, Edward Murr, & Joe Ciardiello. Also thanks to Anelle Miller and the wonderful staff of the Society of Illustrators.
Illustrating Our Landmarks is an exhibit featuring works by Society of Illustrators Members and recognizes the 50th Anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Law.  Curated by Leslie Cober-Gentry, this exhibit is in collaboration with the Landmarks 50 Advisory Alliance.

There will be an opening reception on Wednesday June 11th, from 6:30-8:30. The exhibit runs until August 16.

Killed Flag

Earlier this year I was contacted by Madeline Kelty on behalf of Maria Keehan, the art director of Smithsonian magazine, to participate in a project celebrating the 200th anniversry of the star spangled banner. Their concept was to create a portfolio of work based on the flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Keyes to write the Star Spangled Banner. Her e-mail read in part "...The way each artist chooses to interpret the flag is of course entirely up to the artist—we are open to any and all creative approaches...we are contacting...painters, sculptors, illustrators, photographers and videographers, some are clothing and jewelry designers, some are architects and movie makers, and still others are composers, musicians and poets. We would be honored if you would be one of the portfolio participants. " This is my take on that flag in the age of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. Sale stars replace the original ones on a black field representing the judges robes and pin stripes replace its red bands. As is evident by These Artistic Interpretations of the Star-Spangled Banner Call Out the Inner Patriot it wasn't exactly what they were looking for and it didn't run. That's fine. In the old days, killed pieces  were  tossed in a drawer never to be seen again. In these days unpublished work often finds its way to sympathetic eyes via the internet. Even unsympathetic eyes. The only difference I would have with the Smithsonian is the implication that my piece is unpatriotic as was suggested in a phone call I received from someone with the magazine prior to publication. What's more patriotic, more American, than dissent? In fact, four supreme court justices dissented with the majority on the ruling that inspired my flag. "O say, can you see..."

 The flag that flew over Fort McHenry.
New York Dolls

New York Dolls.

Johnny Thunders

David Johansen

Jerry Nolan

Sylvain Sylvain

Arthur "Killer" Kane

 I first heard New York Dolls when I was fifteen or sixteen years old. A girl in one of my high school art classes bought their first album based on the cover photo (above). She was a Bowie fan and thought the Dolls would be something similar. They weren't. She hated them and passed the record on to me. The Dolls have been a favorite of mine ever since.
reference photos

more reference photos. all photos © Dennis Recla and collected at Johnny Thunders Cyber Lounge

A few of the many Dolls videos on Youtube that were also used as reference.

Also of great assistance was Bob Gruen's book New York Dolls: Photographs
 I like to work to music. Here's a partial list of what I was listening to for this piece. New York Dolls (debut album, Too Much too Soon, From Paris With Love, A Hard Night's Day, Lipstick Killers, Songs the Dolls Taught Us...) Johnny Thunders (LAMF, So Alone, DTK, Max's, In Cold Blood, Copy Cats, Que Sera Sera...) David Johansen (David Johansen Group Live, Live it Up, solo albums...) Sylvain Sylvain (solo albums) Jerry Nolan (Take a Chance With Me/Pretty Baby--single).
 If you were to have just one Dolls cd in your collection it's A Hard Night's Day, a collection of demos from 1973. If you're looking for two I recommend From Paris With Love. In fact, get both. You'll thank me later.

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