Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gerry Gersten- an old friend, a great artist

Recently, I came across this terrific photo of Gerry Gersten and my grandfather. Gerry, a much acclaimed illustrator, known for his incredibly detailed and funny caricatures, was also one of my grandfather's closest friends. They shared the same wry humor, persistent criticism and amazing taste for great art, illustration, typeface and the like. Gerry, born in 1927, grew up in the Bronx. His Polish Jewish immigrant parents was skeptical of his desire to pursue art and instead wanted him to be an accountant. But, his talent, was just too great. He attended the Cooper Union Art School and the Cooper School of Design. Later he became known as a skilled caricaturist. Isn't the Woody Allen caricature (above) amazing? His work has been seen in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Harpers, Rolling Stone, Esquire, MAD Magazine and Playboy. He also designed many album covers which I was lucky to find on the web, shown here. Aren't they great?

He was a member of the Society of Illustrators, along with my grandfather and I have fond memories of having lunch with them at the "Society" during the years that I lived in the city and worked at Saks. Just being in a an artistic place, in the presence of great artists was so enjoyable for me. But to be able to be a part of their hysterical, dry repartee was unmatchable. I so miss those lunches. The picture of them perfectly represents their personalities. They just never took themselves too seriously. They were quite a pair!


  1. Hi, I stumbled upon this today. I am Gerry Gersten's daughter. I knew your grandfather very well. He was my dad's best friend, we actually called him "uncle" Cal growing up!

    I too have very fond memories of lunch at the "society" and being witness to their witty repartee.

    It was such a thrill for me to run across this article today. I was actually just showing my dad how my new Iphone works and I thought it would be fun to google his name with Siri. I was pleasantly shocked when I saw the picture of him, arm in arm with "uncle" Cal. My dad loved your grandfather like a brother. They are both incredible artists that just enjoyed their craft and had appreciation and admiration for anything visually pleasing around them. It was a privilege to know your grandfather and a pleasure to read this piece and reminisce with my dad today.

    1. Hi Jill, I came across your response while looking for some way to contact your Dad. I met him many years ago through a friend of his named George Hardison. I just published a graphic novel in which George plays a big part. I thought your Dad might get a kick out of it. If any part of this sounds remotely sane let me know and I'll get your dad a copy.-- Kevin Sacco

  2. Four years later... Thank you for this. I love Gerry Gersten's work!