The New Yorker Bites Skateboarding Cover

The New Yorker gets many props for being the Bible of modern culture. Artist’s who have their work run in the pages of The New Yorker have, in a certain sense, made it in the world of illustration.

The July 15, 2002 cover of The New Yorker, by Lorenzo Mattotti features a skateboarder jumping off a diving board into a swimming pool. If you were a stodgy, uptight New York literary type you’d probably think to yourself, “What a clever, original work of illustration that is both colorful and yet somehow relevant to a pangenerational demographic.”

What you most likely wouldn’t say out loud is, “That’s odd, I remember seeing a cover just like this on TransWorld Skateboarding magazine back in the mid 90s, June 1996 to be exact. In fact, I believe it was the work of seminal skateboard photographer Grant Brittain who captured Laban Pheidias ollieing over then Skateboarding art director Ted Newsome, at a Carlsbad, California business park. Why this Mattotti fellow is simply copying the work of another artist. This is a derivative work of art.”

But, as seems to be the case these days, if you had a job at The New Yorker then you probably wouldn’t know anything about skateboarding. Anyone want to change that?