Mad magazine, edited in its 1960s and 1970s heyday by Al Feldstein, arguably was the most subversive publication on American newsstands - a comic book that, instead of superheroes' exploits, featured deft parodies of hit movies and Madison Avenue ad campaigns and biting satirical commentary on issues such as racial segregation and the Vietnam War.
A 69-year-old post office worker who renders paintings for silk scarves that retail for over $300? Yep. Recently I stumbled across a Texas Monthly article that profiled Kermit Oliver, "one of the most important living African-American painters" and the "only American artist to design a scarf for Hermès," an ultra-luxury French brand. The introverted Oliver, who still works the graveyard shift at his local Waco, Texas, post office, was first offered the gig in 1980. The president of Hermès' U.S. operations had asked Lawrence Marcus, the executive vice president of Neiman Marcus, if he knew someone who could render a Southwest-themed scarf design. Marcus suggested Oliver, and 16 scarves later, Oliver is still painting for Hermès.
When you're an artist, it helps to have a wealthy patron who recognizes and supports your talent. Michelangelo, for example, was just a lowly painter's apprentice when he was discovered by Lorenzo de Medici, the most powerful man in Florence, who gave him a place to live in his mansion and supported his early work. But artist and industrial designer Mario Armond Zamparelli had a benefactor who was even wealthier and surrounded by more intrigue: Howard Hughes.
Maurice Sendak, children's book author and illustrator, best known for his work "Where the Wild Things Are" has died at age 83. Sendak was also known for several other books, including "In the Night Kitchen" and as a theater set designer. His books have become a staple of childhood reading for nearly 50 years.
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