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?